Report: U.S. to be top energy producer this year

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Ray Gerish, a floor hand for Raven Drilling, works on an oil rig drilling into the Bakken shale formation on July 28, 2013 outside Watford City, North Dakota. North Dakota has been experiencing an oil boom in recent years, due in part to new drilling techniques including hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. In April 2013, The United States Geological Survey released a new study estimating the Bakken formation and surrounding oil fields could yield up to 7.4 billion barrels of oil, doubling their estimate of 2008, which was stated at 3.65 billion barrels of oil. Workers for Raven Drilling work twelve hour days fourteen days straight, staying at a camp nearby, followed by fourteen days.

Ray Gerish, a floor hand for Raven Drilling, works on an oil rig drilling into the Bakken shale formation on July 28, 2013 outside Watford City, North Dakota. North Dakota has been experiencing an oil boom in recent years, due in part to new drilling techniques including hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

The U.S. will pass Russia and Saudia Arabia as the top energy producer in 2013, according to a report by the Energy Information Administration published Friday.

Since 2008, U.S. petroleum production has increased 7 quadrillion Btu, with dramatic growth in Texas and North Dakota, the report says. Natural gas production has increased by 3 quadrillion Btu over the same period, with much of this growth coming from the eastern U.S.

Saudi Arabia’s energy output is primarily petroleum, while the U.S. is a mix of natural gas and oil. Total energy production United States and Russia for 2011 and 2012 were roughly equivalent. In 2013, however, the production estimates widen out, with the United States expected to outproduce Russia by 5 quadrillion Btu.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 1.28%, to $101.69, in early morning futures trading. It had been as high as $110 a barrel in August.

Gasoline prices have fallen the past year. A gallon of unleaded gasoline cost an average $3.345 Thursday, according to AAA, vs. $3.813 a year earlier.

Courtesy of USA Today

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