Not long ago, energy experts predicted that the U.S. would reach a production level of 9.5 million barrels of crude oil per day. However, new estimates suggest that this number could get much higher, thanks to technological improvements that will allow petrochemical companies to access previously unreachable reserves.
The Houston Chronicle reports that U.S. daily oil production could reach a height of 14 million barrels per day as producers continue to find more areas where these new technologies are workable.
"The only thing that can stop it is oil prices," Scott Sheffield, CEP of Pioneer Natural Resources, told the news source. However, while industry observers have long feared that increased production would cause prices to fall drastically, this does not appear to be the case yet. In particular, tensions with oil-producing nations like Russia, Ukraine and Iraq have led to fewer oil imports, which has benefited the domestic industry.
In Texas, petrochemical companies are working on strategies to make sure that all potential oil basins can produce. Though Sheffield told the news source that it is unlikely that oil companies will find new, massive oil fields any time soon, they will be able to improve the recovery rate of existing oil wells.
Increased oil production will lead to new jobs in the industry and benefit the economy, but it will also place a growing strain on existing transportation infrastructure. It is critical that oil companies invest in spill prevention in order to maintain a positive image and long-term profits. One way to do this is to work with an environmental consultant, which can help stakeholders reduce environmental risk and manage potential legal liabilities.