Carpe Diem

US was world’s largest petroleum producer in November, surpassing Saudi Arabia for first time in ten years

oil1

untitledThe Energy Information Administration is reporting today that “Saudi Arabia was the world’s largest producer and exporter of petroleum and other liquids in 2012, producing an average of 11.6 million barrels per day (bbl/d) and exporting an estimated 8.6 million bbl/d (net).” The United States (“Saudi America”) was the No. 2 petroleum-producing country last year with an average output of just over 11 million bbl/d (see bottom chart above).

However, based on international monthly oil production statistics from the EIA currently available through November 2012, the United States surpassed Saudi Arabia’s petroleum output in November (see top chart above). Thanks to the significant increases in shale oil production in North Dakota and Texas, total oil output in the US expanded by more than 7% between August and November, while output in Saudi Arabia fell by 4% during that period. Those trends brought “Saudi America’s” petroleum output in November (11.65 millions bbl/d) above Saudi Arabia’s production (11.25 million bbl/d) by 400,000 barrels per day, and is the first time in more than ten years (since August 2002) that the US has produced more petroleum products than Saudi Arabia.

Although there are certainly variations in oil production that could mean that the US won’t continue to out-produce Saudi Arabia in every month, the upward trend in US oil output will continue, and the EIA predicts that the US will be the world’s largest petroleum producer within the next few years. The EIA forecasts that US petroleum production will continue to increase from the current level of 11.65 million bbl/d by another 11.5% to about 13.0 million bbl/d in the 2018-to-2020 period.

MP: The rise of the US to become the world’s largest petroleum producer in November is another important milestone in America’s new era of energy abundance, and reflects the importance of the breakthrough, revolutionary extraction technologies (hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling) that have brought a true shale energy revolution to “Saudi America.”  “Carpe oleum”

30 thoughts on “US was world’s largest petroleum producer in November, surpassing Saudi Arabia for first time in ten years

  1. Big deal! We imported more oil from the Middle East in 2012 in the past nine years.Anyone thinking America is gonna be “energy independent” anytime soon keep dreaming.Saudi owns us,and they always will.

    • Big deal! We imported more oil from the Middle East in 2012 in the past nine years.

      That’s actually not true. According to the EIA, annual imports from the Middle East totaled 787,400,000 barrels. Yes, it was higher than 2011, 2010, and 2009, but lower than any point since 1998.

      Unless you mean the Middle East’s share of oil imports? That is the highest since 2003, but the absolute number is smaller, mostly because the absolute number of imports is at the lowest level since 1998. Just gotta be careful there.

      Saudi owns us,and they always will.

      No more than your grocer owns you, or your car dealership, or your sports franchise, or your internet provider, or your computer manufacturer, or your clothing store.

      • Here’s something else about the Saudis:

        About 10% of our oil imports come from Saudi Arabia. That’s the same proportion as Venezuela and Mexico. They are not even our largest oil importer; Canada is (about 33% of our oil imports come from Canada).

        However, the US is the largest export destination of Saudi Arabian oil.

        They need us a lot more than we need them.

        So, before you start spouting off some xenophobic crap about how Saudi Arabia “owns” the US, how about you actually look at some facts?

        • He also ignores the fact that oil is fungible. Once oil is on the market, it’s irrelevant where it’s from. The interest to consumers is whether there is more or less oil on the world’s markets. Those who distribute commodities will try to do so as efficiently as possible. If it is more efficient to ship Alaskan oil to Japan and Saudi oil to the US, then that’s what distributors will try to do.

        • So, before you start spouting off some xenophobic crap about how Saudi Arabia “owns” the US, how about you actually look at some facts?

          Correction: Canada owns us. :)

        • Canadian oil? We don’t need no stinkin’ Canadian oil.

          Just ask Herny Waxman:

          “Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) – the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee – said that America does not need the “dirty oil” that would be imported through the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, which received long-awaited favorable environmental review from the U.S. government. “We don’t need this dirty oil. To stop climate change and the destructive storms, droughts, floods, and wildfires that we are already experiencing, we should be investing in clean energy, not building a pipeline that will speed the exploitation of Canada’s highly polluting tar sands.” — CNS News

      • Jon

        Based on this EIA data all these countries must “own us”.

        For those who are concerned about imported oil, it’s important to emphasize that your numbers are percentages of *imports*, which are only 45 percent of consumption.

        So 10% of imports from Saudi arabia becomes 5.5% of consumption.

        It’s not clear why anyone is excited about that.

        • I find that most arguments against trade do not rest on economics (good or bad) or logic (good or bad), but rather thinly veiled xenophobia masquerading as an argument.

          • And it can’t even be an argument for self-sufficiency, as there are so many other materials for which US companies depends even more on imports than they do on oil.

            Aluminum is one biggie, at 100% imported bauxite. No one cries about “aluminum independence”.

          • I agree with your overall sentiment, but I’m also not thrilled with the fact we are funding the jihad. Given a choice, I’d much rather drill for our own oil, or get it from countries that don’t promote murderous Wahhabism. Hope that doesn’t make me a xenophobe.

          • Xenophobic? No. Maybe a little misguided, but not xenophobic.

            Of course, you don’t have to buy Saudi oil. I buy Irving oil, which is Canadian (they are also the cheapest around).

          • Paul, you can stop feeling guilty about contributing to global jihad. :)

            1. In Saudi Arabia, oil revenues don’t directly fund jihad, but a corrupt royal family instead.

            2. There is no possible way US production can double to supply the amount of oil needed, so imports will be necessary no matter what.

            3. Since oil is a global commodity, many of the 120 countries from which US oil is imported would buy Saudi oil if it weren’t sold to US buyers. Those US buyers would then be buying Saudi oil indirectly.

            This is certainly the case with Iranian oil, which isn’t imported directly to the US.

    • you do realize that the united states imports about 40% of its oil, Saudi Arabia constitutes 13% of this 40% which means we get about 5% of our oil from Saudi Arabia. There is not energy independence problem in the United States, that’s just political bull sh*t. If Saudi Arabia decided to stop exporting the US could easily cover the lost production with domestic production that it has been exporting.

      • If Saudi Arabia decided to stop exporting the US could easily cover the lost production with domestic production that it has been exporting.

        On what planet do you live? The US is a net importer of crude and will remain a net importer until demand destruction allows a balance with domestic supply. Hopefully that never happens and the US can keep purchasing what it needs from global suppliers.

  2. Using the broadest definition of liquids production (encompassing crude oil, condensate, natural gas liquids, biofuels, and refinery gain), the difference between U.S. and Saudi production is currently estimated by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) to be 0.6 million barrels per day (bbl/d), considerably smaller than the gap of 3.5 million bbl/d when the comparison is restricted to crude oil production only

    EIA, December 20, 2012

    It would be great if I could fill up my auto with natural gas liquids, lease condensate and refining gains.

    The U.S. still has a long ways to go to surpass Saudi for “energy density” (crude oil) production.

    • It would be great if I could fill up my auto with natural gas liquids

      You can. This year’s models have lng options

    • They’re working on it:

      “WASHINGTON (AP) – Sen. Robert Menendez sponsored legislation with incentives for natural gas vehicle conversions that would benefit the biggest political donor to his re-election, the same eye doctor whose private jet Menendez used for two personal trips to the Dominican Republic, an Associated Press investigation found.

      The disclosure reflects the latest intersection between the New Jersey Democrat who is the subject of an ethics inquiry on Capitol Hill and the Florida doctor involved in a federal criminal investigation.

      Dr. Salomon Melgen invested in Gaseous Fuel Systems Corp. of Weston, Fla., and joined its board of directors in early 2010, according to the company’s chief executive and a former company consultant. GFS, as the company is known, designs, manufactures and sells products to convert diesel-fuel fleets to natural gas. …

      At the same time, Menendez emerged as a principal supporter of a natural gas bill that would boost tax credits and grants to truck and heavy vehicle fleets that converted to alternative fuels. The bill stalled in the Senate Finance Committee, and after it was revived in 2012, the NAT GAS Act failed to win the needed 60 votes to pass.” — AP

      • Nat gas is cleaner and more cost efficient fuel, your telling me it is bad that Menendez knows that and used his position on the issue to get funding from a nat gas company?

  3. And it can’t even be an argument for self-sufficiency, as there are so many other materials for which US companies depends even more on imports than they do on oil.

    Aluminum is one biggie, at 100% imported bauxite. No one cries about “aluminum independence”

    @ron
    You can live without Aluminium,but today a western nation with no oil means chaos and war.Without oil nobody gets his food!

    • You can live without Aluminium,but today a western nation with no oil means chaos and war.Without oil nobody gets his food!

      Hermann, the point is that global trade is a good thing, and there’s no reason to consider self sufficiency a desirable goal. No one worries about importing aluminum, just one of the thousands of things for which the US relies on imports, but there’s plenty of whining about “addiction to foreign oil”, “energy independence”, and similar nonsensical slogans.

      There are many countries with no oil. They simply buy what they need from those that have it. No reason for chaos and violence.

  4. more neocon doublethink…

    corn squeezings, natural gas liguids, refinery gain? …those are petroleum?

    what’s behind this big push to discredit peak oil?

    • what’s behind this big push to discredit peak oil?“….

      Reality, something the clueless lefties refuse to deal with…

      • “what’s behind this big push to discredit peak oil?“….

        Reality, something the clueless lefties refuse to deal with…

        Many of the analysts who argue for the Peak Oil theory are not lefties. I don’t believe that Matthew Simmons was a lefty. And most people would not think of Republican Congressman, Roscoe Bartlett as a lefty. They both sounded the alarm on Peak Oil because they looked at the data, not because of their political affiliation.

        The Peak Oil argument needs to stand on the facts, not politics. And the facts show that nobody is tracking the global production of 45 API gravity crude, which is what the Peak Oil predictions were about. NGLs, refinery gains, ethanol, and other biofuels do not count. We have yet to see the massive investment due to an explosion of prices lead to a material increase in the production of light sweet crude. In fact, the production levels seem to have peaked during the 2005-2007 period. That is not very promising for the optimists who ignore the fact that the predictions made during the mid 2000s were wrong. Global production of total liquids stands 11 million lower than the predicted 101 million barrels a day. That is with hundreds of billions in new investments and Brent prices at $110 a barrel. Yes, we did see an increase in total liquids of around 4 million barrels per day but most of that has come from NGLs and biofuels at a time when production of light sweet has fallen.

        The fact is that if you look into the total numbers you see that the Peak Oil argument comes a lot closer to the truth than what we hear from naive optimists who do not have a clue about the industry. Ironically, the bubble in uneconomic shale is now working to reduce investment in much needed conventional exploration and development as heavy oil and expensive unconventional projects are idled or being cancelled. That means that when the shale bubble finally pops the price increase will be much more explosive and much more damaging to the real economy than expected even by most of the optimists. The destruction of demand should bring some relief but the damage will have been done and we will be much further from finding a market solution to our energy problems.

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