Carpe Diem

Energy facts of the week: oil production highest since 1994, oil imports lowest since 1992, and oil jobs highest since 1988


1. The Department of Energy released its weekly report today on U.S. crude oil production and reported that domestic oil output averaged 6.818 million barrels per day for the week ending November 23, which was the highest amount of domestically produced oil since the first week of February 1994, almost 19 years ago (see chart above).  As a result of the advanced drilling technologies (hydraulic fracking and horizontal drilling) that started unlocking previously inaccessible shale oil, U.S. oil production started increasing in 2009 and reversed a multi-decade decline in domestic oil output that started in the mid-1980s. Since the shale oil revolution started four years ago, U.S. oil output has increased by 36%, from about 5 million barrels per day in early 2009 to the current level of 6.818 million barrels per day. 

2. Net oil imports fell below 40% in October, bringing the year-to-date average down to 41.4%, which is the lowest level for net oil imports since 1992 when imports accounted for 40.7% share of U.S. consumption, twenty years ago (see chart above, EIA data here).

3. The oil and gas industry has been adding an average of 70 new jobs to the U.S. economy every day for the last two years, bringing total employment in oil and gas drilling activities to more than 195,000 in recent months, the highest payroll level since 1988 for oil and gas extraction jobs (see chart above).      

4. The Association of American Railroads reported today that shipments of petroleum products by rail increased by 63.6% for the week ending November 24 and by 44.7% year-to-date, both versus the same periods last year.

5. North Dakota continues to boast ten counties with jobless rates below 2% in October, mostly in the oil-rich region in the western part of the state, led by Williams County in the heart of the Bakken region at only 0.7% (lowest county jobless rate in the country). 

MP: U.S. oil production continues to increase to multi-decade highs almost every week, as advanced drilling technologies access the oceans of shale oil in “Saudi America.” The shale revolution continues to make the oil and gas industries among the strongest sectors of the U.S. economy, bringing much-needed and high-paying jobs, and general energy prosperity to the shale-rich states like North Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

10 thoughts on “Energy facts of the week: oil production highest since 1994, oil imports lowest since 1992, and oil jobs highest since 1988

  1. Just ran across this on Market Currents:
    The average U.S. price of gasoline in 2012 never reached the highs seen in 2008, when the all-time record of $4.114/gal. was reached, but fuel prices have been so consistently high that Americans are on pace to spend a record $483B on gasoline this year. Yet U.S. demand for motor fuel so far this year is running at its lowest level since 2001.

    • $4.79 was the price for regular gas in the fall of 2012 in N CA. Complaining about $4.11 average in 2008 would have brought rejoicing in California! I think California needs to put up lighted exit signs as at theaters so we can get closer to the national average. I feel like the end of Terminator 3, can you help us?

  2. Related comment Tuesday USA Today said that the average wage in the oil business in the Country was actually in Sutton Co, Tx (county seat Sonora) due to the Permian Basin oil boom at 115k/year (of course the total population of that county is 4128)

  3. So why is 10 percent of nearly every automobile gas tank in the USA filled with ethanol by federal diktat, and why is corn production subsidized, in the most pink, socialized, knock-kneed, inbred manner possible?

    Imagine if Obama proposed an “inner city” liquid fuels production and mandated consumption program.

    10 percent of gasoline sold in the USA would be from urban wastes converted into fuel, by federal diktat. And production would be subsidized.

    The outrage! The pique! The scorn! That Muslin socialist Obama!

    But, of course, I have just described our rural-subsidy ethanol program, courtesy of rural state Senators and congressmen.

    No outrage. Change the topic.

    How about the welfare queens driving Cadillacs in Detroit?

    • In case you’ve forgotten, it was Bush (or even Clinton?) who started the ethanol program, not Obama. Seems like Obama’s become the scapegoat for just about everything these days, even for stuff that began, like, 10 years ago. Or more.

      • In case you’ve forgotten, it was Obama who promised hope & change and promised to fix all those terrible things started by his predecessors. After four years in the driver’s seat he has not only continued all the disasters of the past but has added some of his own. We expected better.

        It no longer matters what previous presidents have done, the guy in charge now is expected to fix things.

    • Benjamin,

      Ethanol is typical big government policy that helps the politically connected few at the expense of the politically unconnected many.

      Obama is a strong supporter of both big government and big ethanol.

      So what is your point?

  4. Blaming Obama seems to have become the favourite pastime of WASPs of a certain age and income bracket. USofA has only its own political schitzophrenia to blame — elect a Dem president but then also elect a Rep dominated Congress which ties his hands. Look at all the pending bills and inaction for the past 2+ years — including ones on debt ceiling and fiscal cliff. But the American electorate has spoken decisively and yet Reps seem to hang on to the idea of no change.
    As for ethanol — that is the farm lobby behind Bush and current GOPers who will not rescind that Bill — it keeps corn prices higher than otherwise artificially. Remember most Rep Congress persons are from the Red states of geographical mid-America — which is also the farming heartland. The current subsidy on corn ethanol is a whopping 40 cents per gallon — remove that and you also get over 20 Bn dollars per annum in budget cuts for the fiscal cliff medication!! It just does NOT make economic sense when USA now has far cheaper domestic oil and gas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>