U.S. Crude Output Near 15-Year High on Shale Boom

North Dakota, Texas Account for Bulk of Surge

U.S. crude oil production reached the highest level in nearly 15 years during September, driven by a shale-drilling boom in North Dakota and Texas, the Energy Information Administration said.

Crude output, including drilling byproducts known as lease condensates, averaged about 6.5 million barrels a day in September, the highest monthly production since January 1998, according to an Energy Information Administration update released December 4. September’s production was up 900,000 barrels, or 16% from the same month in 2011.

“Most of that increase is due to production from oil-bearing rocks with very low permeability through the use of horizontal drilling combined with hydraulic fracturing,” the administration said.

The states with the largest increases were North Dakota and Texas, the respective homes to much of the Eagle Ford and Bakken shale formations. Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah also contributed to rising domestic crude oil production.

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