Here's how the US is becoming the world's biggest oil and gas producer

Last week the International Energy Agency reported that the US will become the world's top oil producer by 2015 – that's two years earlier than previously predicted.

The driver is shale – a natural gas trapped in sedimentary rock, extracted by drilling and then injecting a watery mixture into shale formations.

According to the IEA, this boom in natural gas production could cut the US's dependence on foreign oil almost entirely over the next two decades.

But another document from the Energy Information Administration shows something even more interesting: Six regions account for nearly 90% of US oil production growth and 100% of domestic natural gas production growth.

US shale production
"While shale resources and production are found in many U.S. regions, at this time EIA is focusing on the six most prolific areas, which are located in the Lower 48 states. These six regions accounted for nearly 90% of domestic oil production growth and virtually all domestic natural gas production growth during 2011-12." – the Energy Information Administration's Drilling Productivity Report

#1 Eagle Ford, Southern Texas

Eagle Ford

Eagle Ford | Creative Commons image by Scott Towery

Oil production: 1.2 million barrels per day in November, expected to increase by 33,000 barrels per day in December.
Gas production: 6 billion cubic feet per day in November, expected to increase to 6.1 billion cubic feet per day in December.

#2 Bakken, North Dakota and Montana

Bakken

A drill rig in the Bakken oil field in Stark County, western North Dakota | Image from the US Geological Survey

Oil production: 976,000 barrels per day in November, expected to increase to 1 million barrels per day in December.
Gas production: 1 billion cubic feet per day in November, expected to increase by 27 million cubic feet per day in December.

#3 Niobrara, Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota and Nebraska

Niobrara

Niobrara initial well site by WPX Energy | Image from WPX Energy video

Oil production: 280,000 barrels per day in November, expected to increase to 287,000 barrels per day in December.
Gas production: 4.63 billion cubic feet per day in November, expected to decrease to 4.57 billion cubic feet per day in December.

#4 Marcellus, northern Appalachian Basin

Marcellus shale

A hydraulic fracturing operation at a Marcellus Shale well | Image from the US Geological Survey

Oil production: 44,000 barrels per day in November, expected to increase by 3,000 barrels per day in December.
Gas production: 12.5 billion cubic feet per day in November, expected to increase to 12.9 billion cubic feet per day in December.

#5 Haynesville, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas

Haynesville

Fracking on the Haynesville Shale near Shreveport, Louisiana | Creative Commons image by Daniel Foster

Oil production: 57,000 barrels per day in November, expected to increase by 1,000 barrels per day in December.
Gas production: 6.7 billion cubic feet per day in November, expected to decrease to 6.6 billion cubic feet per day in November

#6 Permian, Western Texas

Permian

Generators at a well-drilling site in the Permian Basin of West Texas. These generators are used to power the drilling rig. Later, the rig will be removed from the site and the well will be hydraulically fractured | Image from the US Geological Survey

Oil production: 1.3 million barrels per day in November, no increase expected in December.
Gas production: 5 billion cubic feet per day in November, no increase expected in December.

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