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Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com

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Denser Texas Crude Leads U.S. Oil Production Growth

  • EIA: higher crude density drove part of U.S. crude oil output growth last year.
  • Texas accounted for 57% of the total production of crude oil with an API gravity between 30.1 and 40.0 degrees in the Lower 48 states.
  • The administration expects total U.S. crude oil production to continue rising in 2024 and 2025.

Higher production of relatively denser crude oil in Texas, the top oil-producing U.S. state, drove part of the U.S. crude oil output growth last year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday.

Oil produced in Texas generally has a relatively broad distribution of API gravities. In June 2023, production of crude oil with an API gravity between 30.1 and 40.0 degrees reached 2.58 million barrels per day (bpd), exceeding the Texas production of crude oil with a gravity between 40.1–50 degrees (the lighter crude) for the first time, the EIA said in an analysis.

Texas accounted for 57% of the total production of crude oil with an API gravity between 30.1 and 40.0 degrees in the Lower 48 states.

New Mexico and North Dakota—the second- and third-highest crude oil-producing states—also saw large increases in production of denser crudes in the first 10 months of 2023, albeit from a smaller base than Texas.

The increase in crude oil production with an API gravity between 30.1 and 50.0 degrees in these parts of the United States is the result of several factors, including higher crude oil sale prices, improved drilling technology, and increased access to refineries and consumer markets because of increased availability of transportation via pipelines, the EIA noted.

The administration expects total U.S. crude oil production to continue rising in 2024 and 2025, after expected 12.92 million bpd output for full-year 2023.

The EIA’s first outlook for 2025 showed earlier this month U.S. crude oil production reaching 13.4 million barrels per day next year—a new record for the country. 

The EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook report represents the first peek into predictions for 2025. Those predictions include the United States hitting 13.4 million bpd in crude oil production after continued production growth over the next two years “driven by increases in well efficiency.” Yet, growth is expected to slow due to fewer active drilling rigs.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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