Oil production in the United States has been falling since my dad was in Little League.
In 1970, we produced 3.5 billion barrels of oil.
We haven’t produced that much in any year since, ultimately bottoming out in 2008 with 1.81 billion barrels produced.
But now things are on the rise…
We hit 1.95 billion barrels in 2009 and 1.99 billion in 2010.
At 2010 levels, that works out to about 5.4 million barrels a day.
Combined with natural gas liquids and what the EIA calls “other oils,” the U.S. churns out about 7.5 million barrels every day — enough to put us in third place globally.
And the upward production trend isn’t expected to stop anytime soon…
In fact, Goldman Sachs said in November — though it wasn’t carried by any major U.S. economic or energy media outlets — that the U.S. would pass Saudi Arabia in oil production by 2017.
I say again: Goldman Sachs believes the U.S. will produce more oil than Saudi Arabia in the next five years.
Even simpler: 2017 U.S. Oil Production > 2017 Saudi Oil Production
You Know Why
It’s the shale, stupid!
Newly-discovered formations that extend from Canada south through Montana, the Dakotas, Wyoming, Colorado and Texas, and east through Ohio and Pennsylvania, are breathing new life into American oil production.
You’ve heard some of the names of these fields and formations: Green River, Marcellus, Barnett, Haynesville, Niobrara, the list goes on…
Last month, Anadarko (NYSE: APC) announced it’s made a billion-barrel find in the Niobrara shale of Colorado. The stock is up 30% since October.
And plenty more finds like that are on the way.
That’s why Goldman is forecasting us to pass the Saudis in oil production. And we all know what kind of wide-grinning wealth that much oil creates.
The same wealth is coming to the United States, and to any investor wise enough to see it coming.
King Abdullah won’t be smiling then…
Goldman’s forecast shows we’ll be producing 10.9 million barrels per day by 2017. That’s 3.4 million more barrels per day than we currently produce, for a total of 3.97 BILLION barrels per year.
At today’s $100-per-barrel price, we’re looking straight at an American oil market worth $397 BILLION per year.
Many independent oil and gas drillers are already in place, and the majors are salivating over these new buyout targets.
Why do you think BHP Billiton bought Petrohawk for $15.5 billion?
Why did Kinder Morgan buy El Paso Corp. for $36.2 billion?
Because an American oil renaissance is underway, and the scramble is on to be a part of it.
I use the word “scramble” because that’s exactly what it is…
New finds and buyouts and mergers are being announced on a daily basis: Two billion barrels in the Niobrara. Five billion recoverable barrels in the Utica.
But by far, the largest and most immediately available oil is in the Bakken, where a reported 24 billion barrels have been discovered.
And it isn’t winner take all. Many companies — and investors — are poised to profit from this boom.
Three in particular are showing the most progress.
They own the most acres, have the most holes drilled, and will be generating some of that $3.97 trillion the soonest.
Those should be your investment targets.
Call it like you see it,
Editor, Energy and Capital