U.S. Pumps Most Oil Since 1996 Boosting Independence

(Corrects production total in second paragraph.)

U.S. oil production surged last week to the highest level since December 1996, reducing the country’s dependence on imports as new technology unlocks crude trapped in shale formations.

Crude output rose by 0.2 percent to 6.52 million barrels a day in the week ended Sept. 28, the Energy Department reported today. America met 83 percent of its energy needs in the first six months of the year, department data show. If the trend continues through 2012, it will be the highest level of self- sufficiency since 1991.

To contact the reporter on this story: Asjylyn Loder in New York at aloder@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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