Crude oil production in the US has topped global production charts for the sixth straight year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on 11 March.

Last year, the US averaged 12.9 million barrels per day (mbpd), breaking the country’s previous national and global record of 12.3mbpd, which was set in 2019. In December, crude production hit a new monthly record high average of more than 13.3mbpd.

Records set last year are “unlikely to be broken” by any other country in the near term as no other nation has managed to near the 13mbpd average, the EIA said in a press statement.

The US, Russia and Saudi Arabia accounted for 40%, or approximately 32.8mbpd, of global oil production last year. Since 1971, these three countries have produced more oil than any other nation in the world, according to EIA data. The next three biggest oil-producing nations — Canada, Iraq, and China — produced 13.1mbpd in 2023 combined, only just beating US production alone.

Crude production in the US has been steadily increasing over the last 15 years, with the exceptions of 2020 and 2021 as producers reeled from economic slumps induced by the pandemic.

Bolstered production in the Permian Basin – a significant oil field that spans parts of Texas and New Mexico – helped drive oil and gas production in the US to record highs.

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Several major, multi-billion dollar deals in the Permian last year, including the $60bn acquisition of Pioneer Natural Resources by ExxonMobil, a $2.1bn assets deal between Civitas and Vencer Energy, and Permian Resources’s $4.5bn acquisition of Earthstone Energy, served to boost activity, though production in the region is expected to slow slightly this year.

Voluntary OPEC+ cuts from Russia and Saudi Arabia have hindered output in the two nations over the last year, though international sanctions on Russian crude and oil products in response to its invasion of Ukraine in 2022 have also hit output.