EIA Report: Fracking Responsible for Half of U.S. Crude Oil Production

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that hydraulically fractured wells made-up about 51 percent of the total crude production in the U.S in 2015.  Using well completion and production data from DrillingInfo and the research firm IHS Global Insight, EIA estimates that crude oil production from fracked wells increased from less than 2 percent of the U.S. total in 2000, to over 50 percent in 2015. 

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The use of fracking in oil and natural gas production is nothing new, as the roots of the technique extend almost 60 years. Over the last 15 years improvements in technology and efficiency gains have helped oil production from fracking soar, most notably from combining horizontal drilling and fracking.   As the EIA states in its report,

“This technique, often used in combination with horizontal drilling, has allowed the United States to increase its oil production faster than at any time in its history.”

As fracking technology continues to improve, so too does its use across the US. As the latest Drilling Productivity Report from EIA reports, 92 percent of growth in domestic oil production and all of the growth in domestic natural gas production from 2011-2014, took place in seven major shale regions across the lower 48 states. Much of this new oil production has taken place in Eagle Ford and Permian Basin in Texas, along with the Bakken and Three Forks formations in Montana and North Dakota, according to the report; as hydraulically fractured wells in the U.S. produced more than 4.3 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil last year – up from just 102,000 b/d in 2000.

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Hydraulic fracturing is vital to oil and natural gas development. The technique, along with horizontal drilling, makes production more efficient, spurring a massive surge in production, and allows the U.S. to further improve its energy security by decreasing dependence on foreign oil.

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