U.S. crude oil production is poised to rise sharply over the coming decade, by 2020 reaching the highest levels since the late-1980s, amid a shale-drilling boom North Dakota, Texas and other areas, the Energy Information Administration said in a new long-term forecast.
In 2020, the nation's crude output is projected to peak around 7.47 million barrels a day, an average annual increase of 3.5% from 2011 levels and the highest since 1989, according to the administration's Annual Energy Outlook 2013, released December 5. The report included projections as far out as 2040.
Additionally, Americans' gasoline use is expected to decline over the next three decades, dropping to 1970s levels, as autos become more fuel-efficient, while natural-gas exports will be greater than previously forecast.
The updated forecast "shows how evolving consumer preferences, improved technology, and economic changes are pushing the nation toward more domestic energy production, greater vehicle efficiency, greater use of clean energy and reduced energy imports," EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski said in a statement.