Written By: Emma Websdale
New drilling techniques including ‘fracking’ in oil and gas extraction from US shale rock has put the country’s output to 25m barrels per day –surpassing Russia’s status as the world’s top producer in oil and natural gas.
New estimates released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Friday has shown that the U.S. has overtaken both Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s top oil and gas producer.
According to The Guardian, new drilling techniques such as hydraulic fracturing (known as “fracking”) and horizontal drilling have unlocked vast quantities of oil and gas from shale rock, helping push the country to the top of the ladder, producing 25m barrels of oil, natural gas and related fuels on a daily basis.
America, which surpassed Russia in natural gas production last year for the first time since 1982 now pulls ahead of Russia in both the production of oil and natural gas, with vast majorities of its new oil coming from the western states.
According to the EIA statistics, oil production in Texas has doubled since 2010 while oil in North Dakota has tripled. Furthermore, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma and Utah have also shown steep increases in oil production over the last three years.
Earlier reports from the EIA suggest that these trends will continue, forecasting that total oil production would increase to 8.4m barrels a day in 2014.
Russia, struggling to maintain its energy output, producing just under 22m barrels a day of oil, natural gas and related fuels has yet to grasp new technologies such as hydraulic fracturing.
According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. imports of natural gas over the past five years have dropped by 32% while oil has fallen by 15%. This large shift in the U.S. producing more of its own gas and oil has freed up considerable amounts of fuel supplies for other buyers, but may result in countries that rely on marketing petroleum for their economic strength facing declining market power.
So far, oil prices remain high, up 18% from last year, closing Wednesday at $104.10 a barrel. Market Watch however, warns that “Russia also sits on vast, untapped reserves in shale formations, and could have a boom of its own in coming years.”
The new statistics follow a crucial time when climate scientists have recognized and warned that continuing to burn fossil fuels can push us past the hazardous 2C global increase in temperature. Meanwhile, others have informed that ocean acidification impacts due to carbon emissions are more severe than previously thought.
With a recent study suggesting that using renewables and carbon capture and storage techniques to phase out almost all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is “technically and economically feasible”, alongside increasing global investment into clean energy, the timing and need of a mass transition from fossil fuels to renewables has never been more promising.
For information on how Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation (OTE), its supporters and 300+ investors are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the use of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) technology –a renewable energy resource, please visit our “Answers” page.