The US now produces more than 10% of the world’s crude, thanks to the shale industry

Boosted by the shale industry, US crude oil production in the first quarter of 2014 made up more than 10% of the world’s total output.

US tight oil production averaged 3.22 million barrels per day over the past three months – due largely to two shale formations, Eagle Ford and Bakken – according to data released Wednesday by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

“This level was enough to push overall crude oil production in the United States to an average of 7.84 MMbbl/d, more than 10% of total world production, up from 9% in the fourth quarter of 2012,” the EIA wrote.

According to 24/7 Wall Street, “[t]he last time the U.S. produced that much crude was 25 years ago, in 1988.”

Over the past decade, US tight oil production has skyrocketed, as seen in the chart below.

US tight oil production

“Tight oil refers to oil found within reservoirs with very low permeability, including but not limited to shale,” the EIA explains. “Permeability is the ability for fluid, such as oil and gas, to move through a rock formation.”

The US and Canada are the only major tight oil producers in the world, though Russia is producing some in the West Siberia Basin. According to the EIA, Australia and the UK have the “potential to be among the next countries with commercially viable tight oil production.”

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