The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that US crude oil production (including lease condensate) averaged almost 6.5 million bpd in September 2012, the highest volume in nearly 15 years (Fig. 1). The last time the US produced 6.5 million bpd or more of crude oil was in January 1998. Since September 2011, US production has increased by more than 900,000 bpd. 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 states with the largest increases are Texas and North Dakota.
Fig. 1. Monthly US crude oil production, July 1997
to September 2012.