Crude oil output reaches 44-year high before falling

By Jodi Delapaz

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2016 - For the seventh year in a row, the nation's field production of crude oil increased in 2015, reaching 9.42 million barrels per day (b/d), according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

This was the highest crude oil production level since 1972, based on final production numbers in EIA's Petroleum Supply Annual.

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The data show production gains were highest in Texas, the Gulf of Mexico and North Dakota, with these three regions accounting for 77 percent of the total increase.

EIA notes that although annual production for 2015 grew, monthly U.S. crude oil production has declined since April 2015.

Lower oil prices led to slower development activity, EIA says. The data show production fell to 8.74 million b/d in August 2016, the latest month for which survey data are available.

Texas is the largest crude oil-producing state, providing 3.46 million b/d in 2015, the highest level since at least 1981, when EIA began compiling state-level production data. Production in Texas grew by 289,000 b/d in 2015, the largest increase of any state.

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The federal offshore region of the Gulf of Mexico was second in both absolute level and 2015 increase, growing by 118,000 b/d to reach 1.52 million b/d, the highest production in that area since 2010.

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