How Much Oil Can America Produce by 2040?

In case you haven't heard, the United States has the potential to pump out a lot of oil in the near term. But what about the long term? Well, the country's production grew faster in 2012 than in any previous year in the history of American oil. That's a good sign. And for the last week of May, production actually topped imports -- the first time that has happened since January 1997. That's another good sign.

The best sign came from the Energy Information Administration earlier this month, which projects that Uncle Sam could crank out up to 10.2 billion barrels of oil per day (mbopd) and 18 mbopd of combined petroleum liquids in a best-case, high-resource scenario. That's quite a remarkable turnaround from the turn of the century, although it's important to remember that it's a long-term projection -- meaning it has the highest likelihood of being wrong. Nonetheless, Fool contributor Maxx Chatsko breaks it all down for investors in the following video.

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  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2013, at 10:52 AM, JeanDavid wrote:

    First of all, America produces no oil at all; it mines existing oil. Once it is gone, it is gone. It took millions of years to produce it and people probably had nothing to do with it.

    But the bigger problem is that once "produced", it is not stored in museums, it is refined and burned, producing carbon dioxide, among other things. And the people who produce it do not even have to pay for disposal of the waste from the burning; that cost is imposed on the consumers. Another case of the profits privatized, the costs socialized.

    But an even bigger problem is that there is so much carbon dioxide already produced that we are experiencing climate change already, not 100 years from now. And "producing" more oil will cause more climate change. It is estimated that if all known sources of oil and gas are burned, it will be a life-threatening catastrophe for the human race. To think that people are trying to produce even more of the damned stuff is just horrible.

    We should be making great efforts to REDUCE oil and gas production, not to increase it. We should be learning how to conserve energy, not to waste it. And do find alternative ways to make and distribute the energy we really need.

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