The US is the world's largest crude oil producer, and it could remain that way for quite some time

Andrew Burton/Getty Images
  • The United States is now the world’s largest crude oil producer.
  • It could remain that way for quite some time with a large amount of supply waiting in the wings.

  • The United States is once again the world’s largest crude oil producer, reclaiming the title it lost in 1973.

    It may remain that way for quite some time if the charts below from Westpac Bank are anything to go by.

    Westpac Bank

    Posted on Twitter by Robert Rennie, Westpac’s Global Head of Market Strategy, the chart on the left shows US shale oil production continues to hit record high after record high, surging by 924,000 barrels per day over the past six months alone.

    And production levels could be about to get a whole lot larger should economic and transport considerations oblige.

    As seen in the chart to the right, the number of drilled but uncompleted (DUC) oil wells — which only require fracking to bring online — are also soaring, especially in the Permian basin where they’ve increased by a whopping 1,268 in just six months.

    Should crude prices make it economically viable for these wells to come online, and infrastructure bottlenecks inhibiting supply chains begin to dissipate, US production levels appear likely maintain the current steep upward trajectory in the period ahead.

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