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Soaring NatGas, Oil Production Puts U.S. States on Par With Global Nations, Says API

Eight U.S. states could individually muscle into the rankings of the top 30 natural gas producing countries in the world, with two states making the cut among the top 20 oil producers, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API).

The industry association unveiled how domestic operators would have ranked among the top global producers using Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. Gas production statistics relied on 2012 data, while oil output used 2014 data, the most recent years for which "consistent" international data was available.

Among the top gas producers worldwide in 2012, the United States was ranked No. 1, followed by Russia and Iran. However, based on production of 18.84 Bcf/d, Texas could have been No. 3 behind Russia, API said. Texas also would be No. 8 among global oil-producing nations.

"This is what energy security looks like,"  said API's Kyle Isakower, vice president for regulatory and economic policy. "Thanks to innovations in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, states like Texas and Pennsylvania now outpace many OPEC countries in oil or natural gas production. Rising domestic production has helped to reshape global markets and revitalize job creation here in the United States."

Because API relied on global data, the numbers don't match EIA's most current figures, which indicate rising U.S. gas and oil output even with commodity price reductions. The federal agency in mid-May said it expects U.S. gas production to increase 4.5 Bcf/d (6%) in 2015 and 1.3 Bcf/d (1.7%) in 2016; total domestic crude output averaged  9.3 million b/d in March (see Shale Daily, May 12). Texas gas production in March averaged 533.17 Bcf, with oil production of 84.88 million bbl, state regulators said (see Shale Daily, April 28). Pennsylvania's regulators said gas production in February was estimated at 356 Bcf (see Shale Daily, April 21).

Based on its 2012 gas production, Texas would have ranked above Iran, Qatar, Canada and Norway. Louisiana, with gas output of 7.98 Bcf/d, would be the No. 10 global producing "nation," while Pennsylvania would make the cut at No. 13 with 6.13 Bcf/d. Wyoming was producing around 5.25 Bcf/d in 2012, putting it at No. 17 on the global list, while Oklahoma's 5.15 Bcf/d would rank No. 18.

Colorado came in at No. 19 on the global gas listing for 2012 with 4.45 Bcf/d. Arkansas ranked No. 26 with 3.13 Bcf/d, while New Mexico came in at No. 27 with 3.09 Bcf/d.

The United States was ranked the No. 3 crude oil producer with an estimated 8.65 million b/d, behind No. 1 Russia and No. 2 Saudi Arabia. In API's reconfiguration with the states, Texas would be at No. 8 with an estimated 3.14 million b/d in crude output. That's more than the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Venezuela, among others.

The Gulf of Mexico's oil output would give it a ranking of No. 19 among global producers with almost 1.4 million b/d, while North Dakota would be the No. 20 operator with an estimated 1.09 million b/d. California, with 561,000 b/d, would make the cut at No. 26, while Alaska would be No. 28, Oklahoma No. 31, and New Mexico No. 32.

"Many individual states are now global leaders in their own right," Isakower said. "Shale production has changed the way other countries view competition from America."

Isakower said for the United States to "harness the world-class opportunity in front of us, it's critical that policymakers open the doors for free trade and lift regulatory barriers on the construction of vital energy infrastructure, including pipelines and export terminals."

API estimates that the "shale revolution" has saved U.S. consumers an estimated $1,200/household a year.

"Responsible production and use of natural gas is a major reason why U.S. carbon emissions are near a 20-year low," Isakower said. "America is leading the world, and our success saves consumers money while cleaning the air."

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