Image courtesy of the Energy Information Association.

The United States kept its spot as the world’s largest petroleum and natural gas producer in 2014, pumping nearly twice as much petroleum and gas as Saudi Arabia.

U.S. production topped output from Russia, the world’s second largest producer, and Saudi Arabia, the third largest producer, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

The report marks the third straight year that U.S. producers have beat out their international rivals.

U.S. petroleum production has grown by more than 11 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) since 2008 thanks in part to booming shale plays in Texas and North Dakota.

Although crude prices plummeted by 50 percent in the latter half of 2014 U.S. production still managed to grow by 1.6 million barrels per day, or 3 quadrillion Btu, last year.

U.S. natural gas production has grown by 5 quadrillion Btu, or 13.9 billion cubic feet per day, since 2010,  dwarfing the 3 quadrillion Btu Russia added and the 4 quadrillion Btu Saudi Arabia added during the last five years.

Production in the United States was almost evenly split between petroleum and natural gas while Saudi Arabian production primarily came from petroleum products.

The EIA said that the U.S. production boost is “directly attributed” to the success of tight oil and gas projects.

Although Russian and U.S. production levels were neck to neck in 2011 the United States shot ahead of the pack by adding almost 12 quadrillion Btu over the last three years.

Production growth in Russia has also been dampened by economic weakness in Europe and reduced demand tied to warm winters.

Falling crude prices and weak global demand held Saudi Arabian production steady since 2013, the EIA said.




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