Today's Wall Street Journal featured a front page story highlighting that US crude oil production grew by 14% last year. The finding came from an annual compilation of industry trend lines that is published by BP called the Statistical Review of World Energy, which noted that the increase was the largest in the world and the largest in US history. Rising domestic crude oil production, according to the report, was largely tied to increased use of hydraulic fracturing that has led to rapid growth in shale production in North Dakota and Texas.
A new proposal, HB 2615, endorsed by both industry and environmental groups has received bipartisan support in the Illinois State House which may lay the groundwork for a regulatory path forward on the often controversial issue of hydraulic fracturing. According to news reports, the filed bill - titled the "Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act" - would require oil and natural gas operators to test water in all phases of drilling, require chemical disclosure of fracking solutions, address air pollution concerns, and hold companies liable for water contamination found after drilling operations.
On Tuesday, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that crude oil production in the U.S. reached a 15-year high with nearly 6.5 million barrels per day in September. The boom was attributed to the use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques which yielded a 16 percent increase, or an extra 900,000 barrels per day, from September 2011 levels.
A report released last week by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) found that U.S. distillate fuel exports hit a record high in April, with 981,000 barrels per day being shipped overseas. That same government report estimated that foreign distillate imports fell to their lowest level since 1985.
According to the state Industrial Commission, North Dakota recently passed Alaska to become the second largest oil producer in the country. In March, North Dakota's oil wells produced 17.8 million barrels or 575,490 barrels per day - providing roughly 9% of overall US production. The advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have catapulted the state from a minor producer to a major player in the oil boom across the country, with production more than doubling since 2009.