North American Oil Output Could Top 40-year-old Peak

November 2011, Vol. 238 No. 11

U.S. oil production in areas including West Texas’ Permian Basin, South Texas’ Eagle Ford shale, and North Dakota’s Bakken shale will record a rise of a little over 2 million bpd from 2010-16, according to data compiled by Bentek Energy.

Canadian crude production is expected to grow by 971,000 bpd during the same period. Combined, the U.S. and Canadian oil output will top 11.5 million bpd, exceeding their combined peak in 1972.

Goldman Sachs now estimates the U.S. could move from being the No. 3 oil producer behind Saudi Arabia and Russia to the No. 1 spot by 2017, reversing the downward production trend that began after 1971, when U.S. oil production peaked at 9.5 million bpd.

Earlier this year, the number of land and offshore oil rigs working in the U.S. exceeded the number of natural gas rigs for the first time in 18 years, according to data compiled by IHS-CERA.

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