Last month, for the first time since February 1995, the U.S. produced more crude oil than it imported: 7.7 million barrels per day in October, versus 7.6 million of imports. Domestic output ticked up further to a level just shy of 8 million barrels per day in the week that ended Nov. 8, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.
Imports have been falling dramatically. The biggest declines are from countries that have traditionally been among America’s biggest crude oil suppliers. Monthly imports from Nigeria, for example, have fallen by almost 90 percent since 2007.
As oil guru Daniel Yergin writes in Politico, the shift comes exactly 40 years after Richard Nixon first called on the U.S. to achieve energy independence. The challenge then was to do so in 10 years. Although we’re not there yet, the U.S did meet 86 percent of its energy needs through the first five months of 2013, the highest since 1986.