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Crude oil energy production outlook in the U.S. 2020-2050

Crude oil production in the United States is expected to amount to 26.64 quadrillion British thermal units in 2050. Production is forecast to fluctuate in the coming years and peak around 2034. One standard barrel of crude oil contains about 5.8 million British thermal units. It is expected that many governments will intensify searches for renewable alternatives to fossil fuel energy production, which will contribute to a decline in annual production. The 2020 oil crisis is set to continue affecting oil production throughout 2021, with production forecast to fall to 23.25 quadrillion British thermal units.

U.S. oil production gains in the past decade

With the highest consumption of oil in the world and no end to such levels in sight, the U.S. has been incentivized to produce more oil domestically. During the 2008 financial crisis, when benchmarks such as the OPEC oil price were particularly turbulent, investors seized upon lower interest rates as an opportunity to develop new methods of extracting shale gas and tight oil. Previously largely inaccessible, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling allowed for exploitation of more oil and gas plays than ever before.

Fracking is a means of extracting oil from permeable rock formations, such as shale or tight sandstone. This type of oil is referred to as tight oil or unconventional oil. In the U.S., most shale formations are located in Texas and North Dakota. Since the rapid expansion of fracking, these states have become the country’s two largest producers of crude oil.

Projected energy production from crude oil and light condensate in the United States from 2020 to 2050

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Release date

February 2021


United States

Survey time period


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Statistics on "Oil industry in the United States"

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