America likely overtook Russia and Saudi Arabia in terms of oil output to become the world’s biggest producer earlier this year, according to the Energy Information Administration.
U.S. crude output exceeded that of Saudi Arabia in February for the first time in more than two decades, based on preliminary estimates from the agency’s Short-Term Energy Outlook. In June and August, it overtook Russia for the first time since 1999.
The EIA expects U.S. oil output to continue to exceed Russian and Saudi production for the rest of 2018 and in 2019. Growth has shot up in recent years from areas such as the Permian basin in West Texas and New Mexico.
After crude prices began their upward trajectory in 2016, U.S. investment and production picked up in tandem later that year, according to the EIA. In contrast, both Russia and Saudi Arabia have maintained steady output growth in recent years.
The EIA doesn’t publish forecasts for Russia and Saudi Arabia in its outlook. Saudi crude output are EIA internal estimates while Russian data mainly comes from the Russian Ministry of Oil, the EIA said.
The EIA estimates that U.S. crude and lease condensate output averaged 10.9 million barrels a day in August. Data from Russia’s Energy Ministry, which includes crude and natural gas condensate, show higher output, at 11.21 million barrels a day for the same month. Data from JODI shows Russian production at 10.5 million in June.