U.S. Oil Production Is Booming, Although Nobody Wants To Admit It – Republican candidates have repeatedly criticized the Biden administration for surging gasoline prices.
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has vowed to increase U.S. oil production if elected, while Sen. Tim Scott has called for the President to “tap into our abundant energy resources here at home and bring down prices at the pump.” Former vice president Mike Pence, in one campaign advertisement, said Joe Biden’s green energy policy was “causing real hardship” for Americans.
However, there’s a problem: U.S. oil production is at a record high, and it’s only set to grow next year.
Oil production on federal land reached 3 million barrels per day in 2022. During Donald Trump’s presidency, the peak was 2.75 million barrels.
The figures on federal land correlate with a rise in production across the country.
The U.S. is forecast to produce an average of 12.8 million barrels a day this year. That figure is an all-time high but is set to be beaten in 2024 with a forecasted daily average of 13.1 million barrels.
At these levels – far higher than the most recent trough in 2008 of 5 million barrels a day – the U.S. is likely to remain the world’s largest crude oil producer.
Despite record production levels, gasoline prices are rising once again.
After a relatively stable year of circa $3.50 per gallon, prices have risen to a national average of $3.87 according to the American Automobile Association.
An explosion at the nation’s third largest refinery last week is unlikely to reduce prices anytime soon.
The advent of fracking in the early part of the century sparked hope that the U.S. would no longer rely on the Middle East for its oil. This hope has not come to fruition for over a decade.
“People assumed [the shale boom] would bring a massive change in geopolitics and that this would fundamentally change the U.S. relationship with OPEC and we’d chart this path towards energy independence that would really upend energy geopolitics,” said Ben Cahill, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “That just hasn’t happened.”
“We’re the largest oil producer in the world,” he added. “We’re the largest natural gas producer in the world. But the reality is that energy prices in the U.S. are still dependent on global markets.”
Despite its record production, the U.S. still imports around 40% of the oil it consumes.
Regional markets continue to explore the Middle East, while OPEC’s withholding of supplies has kept world prices at a higher rate.
As much as the U.S. oil industry is booming, the nation is still affected by worldwide geopolitics.
It’s created a strange scenario where the Biden administration is producing more oil than ever before, despite Democrats and Republicans refusing to admit it.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
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