U.S. Crude Oil Production Increasing at Fastest Rate Ever

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the latest field production of crude oil data, which indicates that American crude oil production has now exceeded 8.5 million barrels per day – the highest level since July 1986, and within only 1.5 million barrels per day of the all-time record set back in November 1970.

Click to enlarge.

Between June 2013 and June 2014 (the latest data available), production grew by 1.3 million barrels per day.  This is the largest year-over-year increase in U.S. history if we look critically at the production records.

As the chart above shows, the U.S.-EIA's oil production estimates can have a significant amount of month-to-month variability.  It is not always clear whether that short-term variability is real or not.

Three previous year-over-year periods have – on their face – seen oil production climb faster than 1.3 million barrels per day: August 1939-1940, 1.6 million barrels per day; May 1952-1953, just above 1.3 million barrels per day; and September 2008-2009, 1.6 million barrels per day.

But if we look at each one of these previous periods, it is obvious they are clearly just artifacts of an imperfect production estimation process and/or some unusual single-month drop in production, rather than being true production increases.  In August 1939, production dropped by one million barrels per day from the previous month, only to rebound back up to exactly where it started the next month.  The same short-term drop happened in May 1952, only it was a 1.3-million-barrels-per-day month-on-month decline that was essentially entirely reversed the next month.  And in September 2008 we saw the same phenomena again – a million-barrel-per-day drop over a single month that was reversed within another month.

Ergo, none of these previous year-over-year production increases are real.  The current increase is.  Production in June 2013 was not artificially low, and was consistent with the trend over the previous several months.  Similarly, June 2014's production is not unusually high, and instead is part of a consistent increasing pattern that started back in 2011.

In short, the USA is currently experiencing the most rapid growth in oil production during its history.

On a related note, the Cook, et al. paper on the supposed 97-percent anthropogenic climate change consensus may be falling even further into controversy.  The latest investigation has been done by Jose Duarte – a Ph.D. candidate in social psychology at Arizona State University.  Duarte's work is well worth the read, whereby he documents that the work by Cook, et al. "included a bunch of psychology studies, marketing papers, and surveys of the general public as scientific endorsement of anthropogenic climate change" and concludes that "there are multiple acts of fraud in this study" and that he "contacted the journal – Environmental Research Letters – in June, and called for the retraction of this paper."

It is good to see those like Duarte taking a critical look at the climate science literature.  We need more like him.