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Monthly U.S. Oil Production Hits Record High

Texas hit its own monthly record at 4.6 million barrels per day.

A pump jack near Imperial, Texas in 2017.
Travis Bubenik/Houston Public Media
A pump jack near Imperial, Texas.


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Monthly U.S. oil production hit a record high in August, making the nation the world’s largest oil producer.

New numbers from the federal Energy Information Administration show monthly production reached 11.3 million barrels per day in August, the first time the rate for U.S. crude has surpassed 11 million barrels per day.

Texas led the surge, and the state hit a record monthly high of its own at 4.6 million barrels per day.

Analyst Stephen Beck with Houston’s Stratas Advisors says companies do still have challenges, namely with things like labor shortages and pipeline capacity to move their product. He says staying competitive, particularly in the Permian Basin of West Texas, continues to be a careful balancing act.

“As soon as somebody misses a step, they don’t have a rig at the right place, or they don’t have enough proppant, the inefficiencies in the operation start to show up,” Beck says. “And then that’s when you start having uneconomic results.”

Analysts say recent months of relatively flat drilling activity suggest the rate of oil production growth will likely slow in 2019, though Beck says overall volumes will continue to rise.