US crude oil production hits a 63-year low
According to data released today by the US Energy Information Agency, domestic production (including Alaska and off-shore) of crude oil in 2008 dropped to 1.81 billion barrels, the lowest level since 1946, and barely half the quantity produced in the peak year of 1970.
source: US EIA
After nearly a century of explosive growth, US production of oil very dramatically peaked in 1970 at 3.52 billion barrels. Although production did surge again in the early 1980s, it never again reached the 1970 level, and, with the exception of a slight increase last year, has been in decline since 1985, losing, on average, about 2.6 percent per year.
Imports of crude oil also showed a decline, down to 3.57 billion barrels in 2008. Imports of crude oil have been in a slow decline since the all-time peak of 3.70 billion barrels in 2005, dropping an average of 1.1 percent per year since the peak.
Stated another way, for every barrel of crude produced from US wells in 2008, another 2 barrels of crude were imported.
The decline in both production and imports likely reflects the general decline in consumption due to the weak economy, and efforts at increasing efficiency and conservation.