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Star States on the Road to U.S. Hydrocarbon Plenty

By Julia Bell -- May 15, 2012

“The way in which even a mature, supposedly quite ‘drilled out’ region—such as the United States—continues to add oil and gas reserves confirms the crucial influence of technological change and questions whether the very notion of fixed stocks and exhaustibility has much value in resource supply analysis. After all, industry operators do not regard their reserves as nonrenewable: they will invest in exploration and development to create new capacity.”

– G. C. Watkins, “The Hotelling Principle: Autobahn or Cul de Sac?,” The Energy Journal, Vol. 13-1, 1992, pp. 22-23.

The gains in U.S. crude oil production in just the past four years have been impressive. Here is where those gains are coming from.

U.S. crude oil production, after sinking to levels not seen since the mid-1940s, rose more than half a million barrels per day between 2007 and 2011.…