US overtakes Russia, Saudi Arabia to become world’s largest oil producer

Based on the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) preliminary estimates, the US has outpaced Russia and Saudi Arabia in crude oil production. US crude oil output in February exceeded that of Saudi Arabia for the first time in over two decades; and in June and August, has surpassed that of Russia’s crude oil production for the first time since February 1999.

EIA expects that US crude oil production will continue to exceed Russian and Saudi Arabian crude oil production for the remaining months of 2018 and through 2019.

US crude oil production, particularly from light sweet crude oil grades, has rapidly increased since 2011. Much of the recent growth has occurred in areas such as the Permian region in western Texas and eastern New Mexico, the Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico, and the Bakken region in North Dakota and Montana, EIA reported.

When oil price dipped in mid-2014, US producers began reducing their costs,  and temporarily, their crude oil production, as well. Investment and production only started increasing in late 2016 following increase in crude oil prices early that year. By comparison, Russia and Saudi Arabia have maintained relatively steady crude oil production growth in recent years.