US oil production jumped a staggering 14 percent last year, the largest increase in American history. A new report from BP shows that shale oil helped fuel the increase. American oil production had been steadily falling for more than two decades until 2009, when fracking and horizontal well drilling opened up new sources of oil from shale formations around the country.The report was good news for other places besides the US: Canada’s oil production rose by 7 percent last year. North America’s energy future is looking brighter, while petro-states like Venezuela and Nigeria saw outputs fall precipitously.But as the Wall Street Journal notes, there’s still work to be done:
U.S. crude-oil production has raced ahead of new pipeline infrastructure to move it from oil fields to refineries. This has created regional gluts, such as in a major trading hub in Oklahoma, and driven down prices there.
Building out our infrastructure should be a top priority, but having an oil supply glut is the kind of problem national leaders like to have.[Oil rig image courtesy of Shutterstock]