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Safe and Responsible Oil and Gas Production as Part of President Obama’s All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy

President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy is working – enhancing our energy security, cutting carbon pollution, and spurring economic growth.

President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy is working – enhancing our energy security, cutting carbon pollution, and spurring economic growth.

Since the President took office, U.S. production of electricity from wind has more than tripled, production of electricity from solar is up more than ten-fold, and production of oil and gas has grown each year. Today, the U.S. is the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas.

Let’s drill down on the facts:

  • According to Energy Information Agency (EIA) estimates, U.S. crude oil production averaged more than 7.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2013, up from 5.0 million bpd in 2008. And that was just last year: EIA expects production to increase to more than 8.4 million bpd in 2014; U.S. crude oil production averaged nearly 8.2 million bpd in March already.
  • Domestic natural gas production is on pace to set a new record high in 2014. EIA estimates marketed production averaged more than 72 billion cubic feet per day in March, up more than 5 percent from March of last year and up nearly 25 percent from 2008.
  • The number of oil and gas drilling rigs has grown over the last four years. As of April 2014, there were 1,835 operating oil and gas rigs, up over 18 percent from 1,553 when President Obama took office in January 2009.

Much of the growth in domestic oil and natural gas production is taking place onshore in shale formations – most of which, more than 90 percent by some estimates, are on private or state lands. Even so, part of the President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy has been to encourage safe and responsible production of oil and gas resources on federal lands and waters as well. 

Onshore, nearly 36.1 million acres of federal land were under lease to oil and gas companies last year. Of that land, over 12.6 million acres were actively producing oil and gas – the highest acreage under production since 2008. Last year, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held 30 separate oil and gas lease sales, offering 5.7 million acres for lease by industry, the most in a decade.

Even as sales have gone up, processing time for onshore drilling permits has gone down – last year, it took an average of 194 days to process an APD, down from 228 in 2012 and faster than any time since 2005.

Offshore, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) offered 59 million acres for lease by industry in the Gulf of Mexico last year, and industry submitted bids on 3 percent of these acres, resulting in $1.3 billion in high bids.  The current Five Year Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program includes 15 potential lease sales in six planning areas that comprise some of the richest and most promising areas for oil and gas exploration and development.

As we continue to encourage development of these important energy resources, we are taking steps to ensure that operations are conducted safely and responsibly. And we are also taking steps to make sure we’re not wasting energy – by putting in place standards and investing in energy efficiency.

For example, the Administration has taken action to double the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks by 2025. Taken together, the Administration’s national program to improve fuel economy will save consumers more than $1.75 trillion at the gas pump and reduce U.S. oil consumption by 12.5 billion barrels by 2025. 

As we continue to invest in all forms of American-made energy, we continue to create jobs, save consumers money, and grow our economy. 

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