The U.S. left OPEC in the dust in June, producing a record of just under 11 millions a day of petroleum, largely from fracking fields in Texas, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"Most of the growth we have seen so far this year it is the Permian Basin," Dean Foreman, the Chief Economist of the American Petroleum Institute, told News Radio 1200 WOAI. "Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado."
Oil production in the last week of June was 11 million barrels per day, and Foreman says, as the pipeline shortage is cleared up in the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford, that should push Texas production up significantly.
"The US is poised for even more production growth with the drilling activity that's coming," he said. "So this means three to six months from now, we see future production growth, if we get the infrastructure to meet these needs."
He says when you consider natural gas liquids production, which also set a record in June, the U.S. has surpassed both Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the largest oil producer in the world, and he sees no indication that the U.S. will lose that top spot any time soon.
Other records set in June include the most crude oil ever exported in a month, and Foreman says when you figure in the exports, the US imports of oil are at their lowest level since before the oil crisis of the 1970s
."Our trade balance for petroleum is at its lowest level since the 1960s," he said. "Right now we're down to less than three million barrels per day."
But more needs to be done for the U.S. to become truly energy independent. First of all, with the surging economy, the U.S. is now consuming more than 20 million barrels per day.
Gasoline prices remain elevated, largely because of production hiccups elsewhere. Venezuela, which is the nation with the largest proven reserves, is essentially producing zero oil, thanks to the incompetence of its socialist government. Internal problems are also lowering production from OPEC members Nigeria and Libya, and the new sanctions against Iran could result in its oil being blocked from the world market.
Iran is the world's fourth largest producer
.Foreman says another challenge facing U.S. petroleum is the possibility of increased tariffs on China.
China is the largest single market for U.S. crude oil exports, and he says the current trade war between the U.S. and China could damage that export market.
Meanwhile, a private forecaster says, by this time next year, Texas alone will have surpassed both Iraq and Iran, to become the third largest oil producer in the world.
HSBC says by mid 2019, Texas alone, from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford, will be producing nearly five and a half million barrels per day.