US 'Likely' Returns as World's Top Oil Producer
The United States may have regained the position of the world's biggest oil producer sooner than expected.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the country "likely" passed Russia as the world's top producer in recent weeks. It also reported that the U.S. passed Saudi Arabia in oil production earlier this year.
The energy information administration, which is part of the Department of Energy, released a report on September 12. The agency said its findings were based on oil production estimates.
If those estimates are right, it would mark the first time since 1973 that the United States has led the world in oil production, based on government records.
The energy administration and another organization, the International Energy Agency, had predicted that the U.S. would not pass Russia and Saudi Arabia until 2019. The agency is an international group of oil-consuming nations.
An increase thanks to fracking
U.S. production rose in recent years partly because of technology, including hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."
Fracking is the use of chemicals, sand, water and high pressure to break up rock formations deep below ground. This releases more oil and natural gas.
Not everyone approves of fracking, however. Opponents say that fracking results in harmful substances entering groundwater. They also say it has increased the number of earthquakes in states like Oklahoma and Texas.
The U.S. energy agency estimated that in August 2018, the United States produced an average of 10.9 million barrels a day. By comparison, Russia produced about 10.8 million barrels a day, with Saudi Arabia producing around 10.4 million barrels.
The agency expects the U.S. will continue to produce more oil than Russia and Saudi Arabia for the rest of this year and through 2019.
U.S. oil production has increased since 2011. The rate of oil drilling slowed after oil prices started falling in 2014. However, prices rose again as operators learned to produce oil more efficiently and oil prices recovered.
The U.S. agency said its information on Russian production comes mostly from the Russian Ministry of Oil, and also oil companies and industry publications. The agency said numbers on Saudi production are based on its own estimates.
The United States led the world in oil production for much of the past century. However, both the Soviet Union and later Saudi Arabia passed the U.S. during the 1970s. Up until the past few years, it seemed unlikely the U.S. would ever become the top producer again.
Daniel Yergin wrote a book called "The Prize," which is a history of the oil industry. He says the increase in U.S. production helped avoid a severe shortage of oil that would have caused prices to rise even higher.
I'm Phil Dierking.
1.oil prices 石油价格
Oil prices hit record levels yesterday.
2.severe shortage 严重短缺
We are suffering from a severe shortage of fuel.
3.oil drilling 石油钻探
In crude oil drilling, mining process, the bubble has played in non-essential role.
4.natural gas 天然气
We should exploit these energies, such as coal, oil and natural gas.
5.Fracking is the use of chemicals, sand, water and high pressure to break up rock formations deep below ground.
break up 打碎；破坏
Civil war could come if the country breaks up.
My girlfriend had broken up with me.
6.Not everyone approves of fracking, however.
approves of 支持；赞成
Not everyone approves of the festival.
I don't think she approves of me being here with you.
美国能源信息署表示，最近几周美国“可能”会超越俄罗斯，成为全球最大石油生产国 。该机构还报告称，今年早些时候，美国的石油产量已经赶超沙特 。
作为美国能源部下属机构的能源信息署于9月12日发布了一份报告 。该机构称其调查结果是基于石油产量估算 。
美国能源管理部门以及国际能源署曾预测，美国2019年前难以赶超俄罗斯和沙特 。国际能源署是石油消费国组成的国际组织 。
然而，并不是所有人都赞成水力压裂法 。反对者称，水力压裂法会导致有害物质侵入地下水，还增加了俄克拉荷马州和德克萨斯州地震的次数 。
美国能源部门估计，2018年8月，美国日均石油产量为1090万桶 。相比之下，俄罗斯的日均产量约为1080万桶，沙特的日均产量约为1040万桶 。
美国石油产量自2011年以来一直在增长 。2014年，石油价格开始下跌后，石油开采速度放缓 。然而，随着经营者开采石油的效率提升以及油价回暖，油价再次水涨船高 。
在过去一个世纪的大部分时间里，美国在石油产量方面领先全球 。然而，在上世纪70年代期间，苏联和之后的沙特逐步赶超了美国 。直到最近几年，美国似乎都不太可能再次成为头号石油生产国 。
丹尼尔·耶金（Daniel Yergin）写了一本名为《奖赏》的书，书中描写了石油行业的历史 。他说，美国石油产量增加有助于避免因石油严重短缺造成的油价进一步上涨 。