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Robert Rapier

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The U.S. Could Set 5 Energy Production Records This Year

As I indicated in my previous article, I believe President Trump missed a golden opportunity to highlight energy in his State of the Union address last week. Instead, energy was scarcely mentioned. The president devoted about 30 words of the nearly 5,200-word speech to the state of American energy.

The President could have said, “Today America is the world’s foremost energy superpower.”

According to the 2017 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, the U.S. was ranked:

• #1 in oil production*

• #1 in natural gas production

• #1 in nuclear power

• #1 in geothermal power

• #1 in biofuels production

• #2 in solar power

• #2 in wind power

• #3 in coal production

• #4 in hydropower

The president could have said, “The U.S. produces more energy than any other country.”

President Trump could have said, “The U.S. leads in more categories of energy production than any other country.”

He probably should have pointed out that this year the U.S. will almost certainly break the all-time production record for crude oil production. This is a record that has stood since 1970. Newly released data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) show that in November, U.S. oil production exceeded 10 million barrels per day (BPD) for the first time since 1970.

The president could have pointed out that U.S. natural gas production, which has already risen by more than 50 percent since 2005, will likely set a new all-time high this year.

Related: The Shale Boom Might Not Last Long

In fact, this year the U.S. will likely set new production records for oil, natural gas, solar and wind power, as well as biofuels.

The president could have talked about his executive orders that jump-started the stalled Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipeline projects. Oil now flows through the Dakota Access Pipeline, and TransCanada (Keystone’s backer) is moving forward after being blocked for years by the Obama administration.

Those are a few of the things he could have said about the state of energy production in America. Maybe next year.

* According to the BP Statistical Review, U.S. crude oil production jumped ahead of Saudi Arabia and Russia in 2014. This is in part because BP’s definition of “oil” includes natural gas liquids (NGLs), which have surged in the U.S. along with natural gas production. Without the NGLs, the U.S. would have been behind Saudi Arabia, and possibly Russia as well, in total oil production. However, even without the NGLs, U.S. oil production has surged in the past decade and is on a trajectory that could overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as early as this year.

By Robert Rapier

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