North Dakota Is Producing As Much Oil As The Entire Country Of Venezuela

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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The single state of North Dakota is now producing as much oil as Venezuela, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

While Venezuela continues to falter under its socialist regime, North Dakota continues its historic rise in crude oil production. The sparsely populated midwestern state churned out 1.27 million barrels a day in July, according to data reported by Bloomberg. This is approximately the same level of production seen in Venezuela during the same month.

The numbers provide a snapshot of how much the industry landscape has evolved in the two places.

Much like other regions in the United States, North Dakota has experienced a shale oil boom in recent years. The advent of hydraulic fracturing has allowed North Dakota — home of the Bakken shale play — to produce oil at rates four times greater than its previous peak set in the 1980s. The state is now second only to Texas in oil production and enjoys the lowest unemployment rate in the country. (RELATED: US Surpasses Saudi Arabia As The World’s Top Oil Producer)

The entire U.S. is smashing oil production records. Preliminary estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration revealed the U.S. has now surpassed Saudi Arabia in crude oil output, making it the top producer in the world.

Venezuela, on the other hand, has gone in the opposite direction.

Despite sitting atop more oil reserves than any other OPEC member, Venezuelan production has dwindled considerably. Its oil production collapsed even further in August to 1.24 million barrels a day — around half the country’s output seen in early 2016. The International Energy Agency expects Venezuela’s output to drop to 1 million barrels a day by the end of 2018.

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