U.S. Oil Production Skyrockets to New Record

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that U.S. crude-oil production grew by more than one million barrels a day to 8.9 million barrels a day in 2012.

The 14 percent increase was not only the greatest in American history - eclipsing a record from five decades ago - but it ranks as the greatest increase in annual global production as well.

In volume terms, last year’s U.S. production gain of 1.04 million barrels a day surpassed the earlier biggest annual increase of 640,000 barrels per day, recorded in 1967.

According to The Journal, these figures are the latest manifestation of the shale revolution and its impact on global energy markets.

Most of this new production is coming from dense shale-rock formations, such as the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas. In recent years, the oil industry has developed techniques to hydraulically fracture, or frack, these shales, freeing up previously trapped oils. Beyond the U.S., oil production increased almost 7% in Canada, raising North America’s profile as a global oil producer.

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