The U.S. Oil & Natural Gas Boom

What’s Been Happening in the Past Few Years

natural gas boom

Over the past several years, the United States has been on the forefront of an energy boom. By tapping into our own natural resources like crude oil and natural gas, the U.S. has gone from an importer to an exporter and has created jobs along the way. Here’s just a brief summary of what we’ve accomplished so far:

Oil Production

While oil production in the U.S. has been on the rise since 2009, it has increased by more than one-third in just the past two years. Around the beginning of the recession, we were producing around 5,000 barrels of oil per day and today, that’s jumped to over 9,000. This oil production increase means we’re well on our way to breaking the record of 9,637 barrels of oil per day, which was what the U.S. was producing in 1970.

Natural Gas Production

Like oil production, the U.S.’s natural gas production has also boomed since 2009. Today, more than 50% of our new wells in production produce both oil and natural gas. We generate around one-fifth of the globe’s natural gas, making us the largest natural gas producer in the world, and while federal forecasts predict a slow in oil production by 2020, they predict a 56% increase in natural gas production by 2040.


In 2014, U.S. crude exports reached their highest level since 1980. In 1980, we exported around 287,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Since that year, our exports slowly declined and bottomed out at 9,000 barrels per day in 2002. Since then, our exports have been climbing and in 2014, we reached a total of 346,000 barrels per day – the highest level ever.

We’ve also upped our natural gas exports. Since the 1980s, natural gas exports never reached over 78,000 barrels per day. (They were often around the 40,000-50,000 mark.) But beginning in 2008, exports started to soar and reached a peak of 707,000 barrels per day in 2014.


Imports of both oil and natural gas have fallen in the past six years; oil imports have decreased by more than 40% while natural gas imports have decreased by nearly 60%.

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