News Story

US On Pace To Produce More Oil In 2018 Than — Ever

Fracking, less-heavy regulatory hand contribute

In the second year of the Trump administration, domestic crude oil production in the U.S. is on pace to set an all-time high. The higher output, experts say, is due in part to new technologies, a strong economy and a lighter regulatory hand from the federal government. In Michigan though, production has been coming down for many years.

The data on oil production comes from the federal Energy Information Administration, which reports that the U.S. produced 308.8 million barrels of crude oil in January 2018. That was the highest output in a month since October 1970, when the U.S. produced 310.4 million barrels. If upcoming figures show the U.S. produced more than 300 million barrels in February, it would be the first time ever that this country produced that much in four consecutive months.

Crude oil production had dropped to 119.1 million barrels in September 2008, after a summer during which gas prices spiked. The price of gas ranged from $3.68 to $3.88 per gallon that month, according to the EIA. In January 2018, gas was sold for $2.67 to $2.76 per gallon.

“Oil and natural gas production is at an all-time high and headed higher, and that is good news for our economy and for families and for jobs,” said Daniel Kish, senior vice president of policy at the Institute for Energy Research in Washington, D.C. “Under President Trump’s approach to commonsense regulation, we should expect to see investments and job growth continue, and for the government to do more to encourage, rather than discourage, U.S. energy production.”

Jason Hayes, the director of environmental policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said that oil production has been increasing for the last seven years due to fracking and other advances in drilling technology.

Oil production in Michigan has been moving in the opposite direction, however. In the 1980s, Michigan was producing more than 2 million barrels per month. But in 2017, output ranged from 379,000 barrels to 505,000 barrels per month.