Ten years ago, the U.S. ranked third in global oil production, trailing Saudi Arabia and Russia. A decade later, it leads the world in oil as well as natural gas output, having more than doubled the amount of crude it pumps while raising gas production by roughly two-thirds, according to federal data.
There is a simple reason for the surge: fracing. American shale drillers altered the energy world order with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques that have spurred a historic U.S. production boom during the decade that has driven down consumer prices, buoyed the national economy and reshaped geopolitics.
Below are four charts showing the past 10 years of progress:
Change in Oil and Gas production since 2010
Top Oil Producers
The U.S. surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia in 2018 to become the world’s top oil producer.
Share of Electricity Generation
Plentiful and cheap, natural gas displaced coal as the leading U.S. source of electricity.
U.S. Net Imports of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products*
The U.S. still needs foreign oil, but exports as much crude and fuels as it imports.
* Four week average
Sources: Wall Street Journal; Energy Information Administration