EIA: US Currently Produces More Crude Oil Than Any Country In History

At present, the US is setting unprecedented records in crude oil production, averaging 12.9 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2023. It is improbable that any other country will surpass this record soon, given the limited production capacities elsewhere. This high-level production not only brings attention to the US’s instrumental role in the oil sector but also provides a strong case for investing in American oil.

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According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA)’s International Energy Statistics, the US has produced more crude oil than any country at any time for the past 6 consecutive years. US crude oil production, including condensate, averaged 12.9 million b/d in 2023, breaking the previous US and global record of 12.3 million b/d set in 2019. US crude oil production also set a monthly record high of over 13.3 million b/d in December 2023.

The US crude oil production record in 2023 is unlikely to be broken by any other country in the short term, as no other country has the production capacity to reach 13 million b/d, according to EIA. Saudia Arabia’s state-owned Aramco recently scrapped plans to increase production capacity to 13 million b/d by 2027.

The US, Russia, and Saudi Arabia combined accounted for 40% of global oil production in 2023 (32.8 million b/d). Since 1971, these three countries have produced more oil than any other country (counting production in the Russian Federation of the Soviet Union prior to 1991), although the top spot has shifted among them over the past 50 years. By comparison, the next three largest producers—Canada, Iraq, and China—produced a combined 13.1 million b/d in 2023, only slightly more than what was produced in the US alone.

Russia produced the most crude oil in 2017, but its production growth has since lagged behind that of the US. Russia’s average annual production peaked in 2019 at 10.8 million b/d, trailing the US by 1.4 million b/d. Most recently, Russia was among the OPEC+ countries to announce production cuts in November 2022, and separately announced an additional voluntary production cut of 500,000 b/d in February 2023.

“Although voluntary cuts have reduced recent production in Russia, we believe sanctions and voluntary actions by companies in response to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine have been the primary cause of the cuts. Actual cuts to production appear to be smaller than anticipated, however, and we estimate that production in Russia declined by only 200,000 b/d in 2023,” EIA said.

Saudi Arabia’s average annual production peaked in 2022 at 10.6 million b/d, 1.3 million b/d less than the US that year. In 2023, Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production fell by about 900,000 b/d due to OPEC+ production cuts and further voluntary production cuts by Saudi Arabia to offset weak demand growth.

Production in Saudi Arabia could not exceed the 2023 production volume in the US because state-owned Saudi Aramco’s stated production capacity is 12 million b/d with about 300,000 b/d of additional capacity from its share of the Neutral Zone area shared with Kuwait, EIA noted.

Source: Oil & Gas Journal (April-May 2024)


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