A surge in U.S. oil production has pushed the country’s output to the highest level since 1992, threatening the dominance of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The United States pumped 7.06 million barrels a day in the week ended Feb. 8, up 1 percent from the previous week and extending last year’s 19 percent gain, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday. OPEC production fell to the lowest level in a year in January, the Paris-based International Energy Agency said Wednesday in its monthly report.
Improvements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have spurred drilling in states such as Texas, North Dakota and Oklahoma.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer, reduced output in December because customers asked for less, Ibrahim al-Muhanna, an adviser to Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, said Jan. 14.
U.S. crude imports have fallen 5.9 percent so far this year, extending a 21 percent decline last year, according to data from the EIA, the statistical arm of the Energy Department. The U.S. met 84 percent of its energy needs in the first 10 months of last year, on pace to reach the highest annual rate of self-sufficiency since 1991.
January OPEC production dropped to a 15-month low in a Bloomberg survey of oil companies, producers and analysts because of a 100,000 barrels a day drop in Saudi output.
“OPEC should find it challenging to survive another 60 years, let alone another decade,” analysts led by Ed Morse, global head of commodities research at Citigroup in New York, said in a report released Wednesday.
Increased output from Canada and Mexico will accelerate the trend toward North American energy independence, according to the Citigroup report.