Energy

American Oil Imports Hit 45 Year Low

(REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier/Files)

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter

America is importing less oil than any time in the last 45 years.

In 2005, America imported 60.3 percent of its oil. In 2015, the U.S. only imported 24.2 percent. Economist Dr. Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute attributes the decline in petroleum imports to the development of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of American shale.

Oil imports have fallen because the U.S. is producing record amounts of oil.

America passed Russia in oil and gas production last year and now produces more liquid fuels than any other country. The U.S. produced an average of about 9.3 million barrels of crude oil per day last June. Oil production last year was 80 percent higher than it was in 2008.

New technologies mean that America will soon be producing more oil  and have larger oil reserves than ever before, according to a report published last week by the International Energy Agency (IEA.) The report states that the new technologies of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and horizontal drilling techniques have boosted the American oil industry.

IEA predicts that America could produce a record high of 14.2 million barrels of oil per day within five years. Currently, Saudi Arabia produces just over 10 million barrels of oil per day.

Largely due to this new American production, global oil prices are near historic lows. The IEA believes that prices are set to rise again due to growing foreign demand, which could set the stage for another American oil boom built on the infrastructure of the first fracking boom.

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