Skip to content

The Rise & Rise Of ‘Saudi America’

Mark J. Perry, AEIdeas

For the 22nd month in a row, “Saudi America” took the top spot as the No. 1 petroleum producer in the world.


The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new data yesterday on international energy production for the month of August, and here are some highlights of that update:

1. For the 22nd month in a row starting in November 2012, “Saudi America” took the top spot again in August as the No. 1 petroleum producer in the world. Also, for the 22nd straight month, total petroleum production (crude oil and other petroleum products like natural gas plant liquids, lease condensate, and refined petroleum products) in the US during the month of August at 14.16 million barrels per day (blue line in chart) exceeded petroleum production in No. 2 Saudi Arabia (11.66 million barrels per day, see red line in chart).

2. During the 2004-2008 period before America’s shale oil and gas boom started, Saudi Arabia routinely produced 2–3 million more barrels of petroleum products per day than the US (see blue arrow in chart). But since America’s shale revolution started around 2009 when America’s “petropreneurs” starting accessing oceans of shale oil and gas with revolutionary drilling and extraction technologies, there has been a surge of nearly 60% in the supply of petroleum produced in the US, and America surpassed Saudi Arabia at the end of 2012 to become the world’s No. 1 petroleum producer. In August, production of US petroleum products (14.16 million bpd) exceeded Saudi Arabia’s output (11.65 million bpd) by 2.5 million bpd (see red arrow in chart), which is the biggest difference in favor of the US during the 20-year history of international production data from the EIA (see chart).

Bottom Line: The EIA data on international petroleum production through August provides more evidence that America’s shale energy revolution is taking the US from “resource scarcity” to a new era of “resource abundance.” The shale revolution has remade the US into a formidable energy superpower and we now consistently produce a greater “total oil supply” than Saudi Arabia (by more than 2.5M bpd in August) and have led the world in total petroleum production for 22 straight months. This energy bonanza in the US — described as the “energy equivalent of the Berlin Wall coming down” — would have been largely unthinkable even six years ago. But then thanks to revolutionary drilling techniques that were developed by American “petropreneurs” and are “made in the USA,” vast oceans of shale oil and gas have been accessed across the country, making the US the world’s No. 1 petroleum producer for 22 months running.

Note: Based on the international oil production data released yesterday, Texas as a separate oil-producing country would have been the 6th largest oil-producing nation in the world for crude oil output in August at 3.24 million bpd – just behind No. 5 Canada’s production of 3.4 million bpd.

Full post