2015 may well be the year where gas prices remain relatively low for a long period of time. With gas hovering around the $2.00 mark (as of mid-January), many experts and pundits are weighing in on the reason why this is happening. Theories range from advances in hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") to domestic surplusses.
In a recent television appearance, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) talked about oil production and the United States, and where we stood among all other oil-producing countries of the world. Klobuchar said this:
"We're now the no. 1 producer of oil in the world. We've surpassed Saudi Arabia."
Our partners at PolitiFact took a look at Klobuchar's claim to see if it was accurate or not. PolitiFact reporter Joshua Gillin says that the Truth-O-Meter found the Minnesota senator's claim to be TRUE. Gilliin said that she had her facts straight.
"We rated it true, and believe it or not, it's actually been true since the fourth quarter of 2012," said Gillin. "What we've seen is an increase in production for oil and oil products, and we're not even talking about natural gasses or anything that is not strictly petroleum. Right now, the United States is turning out about 14.2 million barrels of oil per day, and Saudi Arabia is producing about 11.7 million barrels per day."
Gillin points out that there's one thing to consider... that this scenario may not last forever. "One of the big differences between the United States and Saudia Arabia right now is capacity," said Gillin. "The U.S. is operating at full capacity when it comes to production. Saudi Arabia, however, is not at full capacity, so they could ramp up production and surpass us if they chose to do so."
Regardless of what the future may hold, Klobuchar's claim was centered on current oil production, and the statistics show that the United States is, indeed, the number one oil producer in the world. Klobuchar's statement rates TRUE on PolitiFact's Truth-O-Meter.
SOURCES: Is the U.S. number one in oil production?
- PolitiFact ruling
- NBC, Meet the Press, Jan. 4, 2014
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, global oil production database, accessed Jan. 4, 2014
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, "North America leads the world in production of shale gas," Oct. 23, 2013
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, "U.S. expected to be largest producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons in 2013," Oct. 4, 2013
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Despite lower crude oil prices, U.S. crude oil production expected to grow in 2015," Jan. 2, 2015
- Bloomberg News, "U.S. Seen as Biggest Oil Producer After Overtaking Saudi Arabia," July 4, 2014
- Reuters, "U.S. surges past Saudis to become world's top oil supplier - PIRA," Oct. 15, 2013
- Email interview, Klobuchar spokesman Rob Friedlander, Jan. 4, 2014
- Email interview, Leonardo Maugeri, associate at Harvard’s Geopolitics of Energy project, Jan. 4, 2014