Over the last few months, we have been reporting on the US’s rise to energy independence; now, the US is gradually passing Russia as the biggest global producer of oil and natural gas.
Natural gas tapped from US shale formations has aided the US in its recent energy boom. According to the EIA and IEA, in July, the US generated almost 22 million barrels per day of oil, natural gas and other fuels. Russia’s anticipated 2013 production is expected to be below the US’s 2013 forecast, at 21.8 million barrels/day. The US has also not needed to import as much natural gas and crude oil, numbers which have dwindled to 32% and 15%. Both Russia and the US generate more natural gas than Saudi Arabia, the largest global producer of oil.
Russia’s energy slump is both due to the fact that the country is fighting to sustain its energy output, while also failing to adopt fracking methods and technologies, which have proved to be the bread and butter of America’s surge to energy independence. Moreover, Russia is feeling the backlash from Europe’s economic decline, affecting the country’s exports.
Not only is the US extracting more natural gas than Russia, but is also approaching Russia in crude production. In the first half of 2013, Russia generated 10.8 million barrels of oil/day — the US was only 900,000 barrels/day behind Russia, reducing the previous gap of 3 million barrels/day.
Two prominent US crude sources — North Dakota’s Bakken oil field and South Texas’s Eagle Ford shale formation — are only helping to advance the US’s crude output. While Russia’s oil output isn’t predicted to increase, the country’s natural gas output will grow by 3%. Many believe that the world’s biggest, untapped oil formation can be found in Russia, which could cause the country’s production levels to skyrocket. Conversely, many also believe that US oil and gas production could taper off, as both demand and cost become major factors for US fracking practices.
Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan
October 16, 2013
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