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North America Losing Its Oil Edge

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For good or bad, from 1980-2010, North America lost some of its oil production edge.

Thirty (two) years ago, this region of the world represented 20% of the world's crude oil production. But, according to a recent report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, North America has been slowly losing its market share. In 2010, the region represented just 15% of the world's crude oil production, with a significant portion of its share shifting to Asia, Africa, and the Former Soviet Union.

In fact, North America was the only region in the world that had a net production decrease over these three decades.

In total, North America's crude oil production decreased by about 1 million barrels per day in this timeframe, while global crude oil and lease condensate production increased by 24%. But, as the result of increased production in North Dakota and Texas, the United States has seen overall gains in crude oil production in recent years. Between 2008-2010 these two states realized an 11% increase in production levels (barrels/day). But, these recent gains have not (according to these numbers) been enough to negate the overall losses since 1980.

H/T to Ed Crooks at the Financial Times for his comments on this post.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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