U.S. oil production at highest level since 1998
WILLISTON, N.D. - North Dakota oil production has helped lift U.S. monthly oil production to the highest level since 1998.
The Energy Information Administration said Tuesday that U.S. crude oil production averaged nearly 6.5 million barrels per day in September, the highest volume in nearly 15 years.
The last time the United States produced 6.5 million barrels per day or more was in January of 1998, the EIA reported.
Since September 2011, U.S. production has increased by more than 900,000 barrels per day, thanks to the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, according to the EIA.
Texas and North Dakota saw the largest oil production increases.
In March, North Dakota surpassed Alaska to become the No. 2 oil producing state. North Dakota produced a record 728,494 barrels of oil per day in September, according to preliminary numbers from the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.
By the end of September, North Dakota produced a total of nearly 174 million barrels of oil for the year, compared with the total of 152.9 million barrels produced in all of 2011.
North Dakota's increase in oil production is from the Bakken formation.
Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, said the Bakken has provided optimism that the United States will be able to become energy secure.
"North Dakota and the Bakken have played a huge role in the resurgence of U.S. energy production," Ness said.
In Texas, the increase is largely from the Eagle Ford formation in south Texas and the Permian Basin in west Texas, the EIA said.
States with smaller volumes of oil production, such as Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, also saw increased production that contributed to the rise in U.S. production, the EIA said.