America's Oil Boom Overwhelms Global Production Decline

by
August 31, 2014

The United States, sometime in the first quarter of 2014, passed Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of petroleum liquids, with daily output exceeding eleven million barrels per day (bpd), according to the International Energy Agency. Growth from January 2011 to July 2014 included three million bpd of crude oil and another one million bpd of hydrocarbon gas liquids and biofuels. U.S. crude oil production growth more than offset the 2.8 million bpd of global “unplanned supply disruptions” associated with the “Arab Spring.” Global “unplanned supply disruptions” averaged 3.2 million bpd during the first seven months of 2014 and peaked at 3.5 million bpd in May. The recent supply disruptions are the highest since the 1990-to-1991 Iraq/Kuwait War, when supply disruptions peaked at 4.3 million bpd according to the International Energy Agency data. However, over the last thirteen months, from July 2013 to July 2014, the international standard price of crude oil, referred to as “Brent Crude,” stabilized in a narrow $5 per barrel range between $107 and $112 per barrel due to booming U.S. production. This compares to the $21 range for Brent Crude during the prior thirteen-month period from June 2012 to June 2013. U.S. production

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