FILE - This Sept. 29, 2016 file photo, shows a section of the Dakota Access Pipeline under construction near the town of St. Anthony in Morton County, N.D. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

The United States could become the world’s biggest oil producer. It’s been a while

U.S. oil production is poised to set a record in 2018, potentially passing top oil producers


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Nathanael Johnson
January 27, 2018 8:29PM (UTC)
This post originally appeared on Grist.

Spurred by the higher profit margins that come with fracking technology, U.S. oil production is poised to set a record in 2018, potentially passing top oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia.

For context, the last time we were pulling this much oil out of the ground — in 1970 — the Beatles broke up, the Apollo 13 mission narrowly avoided disaster, the United States invaded Cambodia, and the dot-matrix printer made its debut.

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Now we’ve moved on to 3D printers, but we’re still stuck with petroleum technology.

If you count natural gas, the United States has been the biggest oil and gas producer since 2014. While China is now the world’s largest fossil fuels burner and biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, the United States is a (much) larger producer, digging up and selling far more than our share of the problem.


Nathanael Johnson

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