Walter Russell Mead:
Overall, US oil production rose by 760,000 b/d last year—the largest annual increase since crude oil started to be pumped commercially in the US in 1859. BP said the US will overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest oil producer this year, on the back of higher tight oil and biofuels production and expected cuts in Opec supply.
Prior to the BP report, it was thought that the U.S. would lead oil production only by 2020. The fact that we’re already there is a reflection of the rapid pace of the shale energy boom.