The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

America: Number 1 in Oil

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted July 7, 2014

Promising news last week – the U.S. will remain the world’s largest oil producer this year, maintaining the top spot now and well into the future thanks to shale development, Bank of America says.

U.S. production of crude oil, along with liquids separated from natural gas, surpassed all other countries this year with daily output exceeding 11 million barrels in the first quarter, the bank said in its report.

More good news: Industry investment is reaching record levels as oil extraction soars in states like Texas and North Dakota. The bank’s head of commodities research, Francisco Blanch:

“There’s a very strong linkage between oil production growth, economic growth and wage growth across a range of U.S. states... Annual investment in oil and gas in the country is at a record $200 billion, reaching 20 percent of the country’s total private fixed-structure spending for the first time.”

America’s shale revolution has had a huge role in hitting this milestone and keeping costs stable for consumers. In just a few years we’ve gone from a scenario of energy scarcity to energy abundance – thanks in large part to the innovations and investments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Blanch: 

“The shale boom is playing a key role in the U.S. recovery. If the U.S. didn’t have this energy supply, prices at the pump would be completely unaffordable.”

Now on to some bad news: EIA reported today that production of fossil fuels from federal and Indian lands fell 7 percent in 2013, even as production on non-federal lands was up 61 percent and 33 percent from 2009 – 2013. Take a look at their chart:

fed indian lands production  

Access to our oil and natural gas reserves is critical to sustaining America’s energy revolution – and number one production spot. The opportunity shale offers, and the falling federal production numbers highlights the need to improve federal energy permitting. Permitting for oil and natural gas drilling on federal lands takes too long, generates too much uncertainty and is a hindrance to developing reserves that are critical to the country’s energy security today and tomorrow.

Good energy policy is a topic our readers will be familiar with. America needs policies that allow for increased access to domestic oil and natural gas reserves, and regulatory and permitting policies that properly manage development without stifling job creation and revenue. 


Mary Schaper is a Digital Communications Manager for the American Petroleum Institute. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Digital Director and for Senator Lisa Murkowski. Before coming to D.C., she spearheaded digital strategy for Murkowski's successful Senate write-in campaign in 2010. Schaper enjoys traveling and taking in the local culture alongside her husband, their son and loyal springer spaniel.