The U.S. is Now the World's Largest Oil & Natural Gas Liquids Producer

It's something that American planners have dreamed about for decades, and back in the eighties and nineties was thought to be impossible.

But, led by the booming Texas fracking fields, the U.S. in September became the largest producer of oil and natural gas liquids in the world, muscling out both Saudi Arabia and Russia, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"We are at 11 million barrels per day in crude oil in the U.S., and another 4.3 million barrels per day in natural gas liquids," Dean Foreman, the chief economist for the American Petroleum Institute, told News Radio 1200 WOAI.

"We are up 2.2 million barrels per day over this time last year," Foreman said.  "That means the U.S. has met all of the oil demand growth this year."

That means the U.S. has also been able to step in and make up for oil production lost by mismanagement in Venezuela, which has seen its production slip to almost nothing due to the ineptitude of its socialist government.  Production has also been dropping in Nigeria and Libya, two other OPEC nations which have been hit by civil unrest.

The big uncertainty ahead is Iran, which is set to see tough sanctions imposed against its oil industry early next month.This doesn't mean the U.S. is self sufficient in oil, far from it.  

While the U.S. now produces more than 11 million barrels per day, we use about 20 million, considering the booming U.S. economy and growing U.S. population.  But this production has allowed the U.S. to become a major exporter of crude oil, which can allow the U.S. to become a force for good in a market which has been dominated by venal governments, as we have seen recently in the action of Saudi Arabia.

But those imports are falling, especially to China, which is a large buyers of American crude.  That is due largely to the trade tensions between the two countries and the threat of tariffs.

Foreman says growth in the fracking fields of Texas continues, although there are challenges.  They include a lack of pipeline capacity to carry Permian Basin crude to refineries, and the continued fluctuation of the price of oil, which hampers the ability of lenders to make the investments in oil production needed to sustain future growth.

If Texas were an independent country, we would be the third largest oil producer in the world.

IMAGE; GETTY

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