Recently, the United States has surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia as the top oil-producing country in the world with 10.6 million barrels produced every day in 2018. This production increase has occurred thanks to improvements in technology. It is easier than ever to extract oil from deeper and deeper in the ground using conventional methods, and fracking technology that allows for oil extraction from shale has continuously improved.
The majority of United States oil production takes place in these five states.
Texas produced 1.2 billion barrels of oil in 2017 and is on track to surpass that record this year. Texas has long had good access to conventional oil with derricks visible across the state but, with improvements in fracking technology, it has become even easier to pull oil from previously unexplored depths in the Texas ground. The Texan government also encourages oil production which lowers the costs for producers doing business in the state.
In recent years, North Dakota has emerged as one of the top oil-producing states in the country. With the huge Bakken formation on the western side of the state, North Dakota is experiencing a massive population boom. Roughnecks are pouring in from all over the country to help extract oil from deep beneath the badlands. Today, North Dakota accounts for approximately ten percent of U.S. oil production, churning out over a million barrels per day.
With large, empty expanses, Alaska continues to increase its oil production. The North Slope of Alaska has long been a hotbed of crude oil production and as technology continues to improve it becomes easier and easier to access more oil in this vast region. Last year, Alaska saw a full 1.7% increase producing roughly 494,000 barrels per day. The state expects to surpass this number in 2018.
While it may surprise some, California is the fourth-largest producer of oil in the United States. The Central Valley and the coast contain vast oil reserves, the sheer size of which make California one of the nation’s leading oil producers. In 2017 the golden state produced 173.1 million barrels.
Located adjacent to Texas, New Mexico enjoys much of the same accessibility to oil as the Lone Star State. Most production occurs in the Northwest and Southeast corners of the state. Though New Mexico does not have as much oil-friendly land as the other states on this list, it still manages to generate about 473,000 barrels of oil per day.