The US produced an average of 3.22 million barrels per day of crude in the fourth quarter of 2013 from unconventional oilfields in Texas, North Dakota and elsewhere, according to Energy Information Administration estimates.
Combined with conventional and deep-water sources, total domestic production averaged around 7.84 million bpd, or about 10.4% of overall global crude output.
It was also 9% higher than oil production in the fourth quarter of 2012, the EIA said.
The US has been gaining on Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil and gas producer and is expected to surpass those behemoths before long.
As oil output in the US has soared, calls for lifting a ban on crude exports have grown louder, and on Wednesday Continental Resources chief executive Harold Hamm pushed the issue in a Congressional hearing.
The US and Canada are the only regions in the world that produces a significant amount of tight oil, defined as oil found within reservoirs with very low permeability such as shale and other formations. The rest of the world produces less than 1% of all tight oil, according to the EIA.
The Eagle Ford of Texas and the Bakken of North Dakota and Montana together accounted for 63% of US tight-oil production last month, the EIA said.
In Canada, total tight-oil output averaged 340,000 bpd in 2013, or just under 10% of the 3.52 million bpd of total crude production from the country.
Russia is also starting to make advances in unconventional production. In Argentina, national oil company YPF claimed in their third-quarter 2013 report that it had was producing 7887 bpd of tight oil from the Vaca Muerta shale in the Neuquin basin.
*Luke Johnson – Upstreamonline