Thanks to the domestic oil boom, record-setting fuel production growth in the United States has more than offset the rise in unplanned global petroleum supply disruptions over the past few years. U.S. liquid fuels production, which includes crude oil, hydrocarbon gas liquids, biofuels, and refinery processing gain, grew by more than 4.0 million barrels per day (bbl/d) from January 2011 to July 2014, of which 3.0 million bbl/d was crude oil production growth. During that same period, global unplanned supply disruptions grew by 2.8 million bbl/d.
Spurred by fracking and slant drilling, U.S. production growth has occurred during a period of exceptional turmoil in traditional overseas production areas such as Iraq, Iran, Libya and Nigeria, which have been suffering the strains of war, revolution and civil unrest. This counterbalancing effect on supply has directly impacted price stability, as Brent crude has traded within a narrow $5 range over the past 13 months between $107 per barrel and $112 per barrel. Meaning: without America’s petro-boom, today’s fuel prices would be much higher.