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Top 5 Oil Producing States
Texas is the top U.S. producer of crude oil and natural gas, according to the EIA. In September, the state’s daily oil production reached 2.7 millions barrels, an increase of 700,000 barrels compared with the year-ago figure of 2.0 million barrels. Most of the increase occurred in two formations, Eagle Ford in South Texas and the Permian Basin in West Texas.
2. North Dakota
In September, North Dakota’s daily oil production was approximately 933,000 barrels, according to the EIA. Compared with September 2012, the state’s daily oil production increased by more than 200,000 barrels, almost all of which occurred in the Bakken shale formation.
The bulk of the Bakken formation is in North Dakota. However, it extends west to Montana and north to Saskatchewan. Though oil was found in the Bakken in the early 1950s, production was low due to the difficult geological conditions. However, the combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling overcame the natural hurdles. Since 2007 there has been a production increase of nearly 10-fold.
At 545,000 barrels per day, California is the third most prolific U.S. oil producing state, according to the EIA. California also ranks third in refining capacity. It’s capable of fractionating about 2 million barrels per day in the state’s 20 refineries. Meanwhile, California has vast oil reserves that are currently untapped. However, some of those reserves are in politically sensitive offshore locations. On the other hand, California’s governor has shown some willingness to consider tapping the Monterey/Santos shale play in Southern California, which is estimated to hold over 15 billion barrels of oil.
Alaska’s production has been declining since hitting its peak in March 1988, when the state was producing almost 2.1 million barrels a day. In September 2013 Alaska was producing oil at the rate of about 445,000 barrels a day, enough for fourth place.
Meanwhile, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is estimated to contain 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil. The EIA estimates the region would produce 600,000 to 1.9 million barrels per day, largely offsetting the declines from the North Slope. However, major political obstacles stand in the way of oil drilling in this region.
During September, Oklahoma produced 320,000 barrels of oil a day, ranking it fifth in the nation, according to the EIA. That daily figure is about 70,000 barrels higher than its pace during September 2012. Oklahoma is fourth in natural-gas production.
Following the previous five leading oil states are New Mexico, Louisiana, Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado. Production is also increasing in these smaller-volume states, contributing to the rise in total domestic crude-oil production, the EIA said.