The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that U.S. crude oil production exceeded 7 million barrels per day in November and December for the first time since December 1992. Initial estimates were below seven million barrels per day, but the actual tally for November was well above that figure. The December actual numbers have yet to come in, but projections have EIA very confident that December will also eclipse the seven million barrels per day mark.
These increases were driven primarily by North Dakota and onshore Texas fracking operations in tight shale. As U.S. oil production continues to increase, infrastructure will need to catch up before the American public can take full advantage of these freeflowing resources. The last refinery constructed in the U.S. was in Garyville, Louisiana in 1976. Regulations and costly, volatile foreign oil have discouraged refinery and pipeline construction, but with so much crude in abundance, the industry will have to respond soon.