U.S. Extends Lead as World’s Top Hydrocarbon Producer

U.S. output of natural gas and petroleum increased by 10 percent in 2014, extending its lead as the world’s biggest hydrocarbon producer.

The U.S. produced 54.6 quadrillion British thermal units worth of liquid and gas energy in 2014, up from 49.8 quadrillion in 2013, according to an Energy Information Administration report published Tuesday. Russia produced 43 quadrillion Btu, Saudi Arabia 27.5 quadrillion.

Production gains happened even with U.S. crude prices falling 50 percent from June to December last year and natural gas falling 39 percent over the same period.

About 52 percent of U.S. hydrocarbon production was on the liquids side, including crude oil, natural gas liquids and biofuels. Liquid production increased 13 percent to 28.3 quadrillion Btu. Dry gas output rose by 5.9 percent to 26.3 quadrillion.

In Russia, liquids production took up 51 percent of the total, rising 0.9 percent to 22 quadrillion Btu. Dry gas production there fell 4.1 percent to 21 quadrillion.

Saudi Arabia had the least even energy production among the top three countries, with 86 percent of its hydrocarbon production falling on the liquid side of the scale. Liquid output fell 0.3 percent to 23.6 quadrillion Btu, while dry gas rose by 4.5 percent to 3.9 quadrillion.

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