Between 2010 and 2015, annual oil production in the U.S. grew by four million barrels per day (BPD). Production dipped in 2016, but then U.S. crude oil production again rose by 1.2 million BPD between January and December 2017, to levels that haven’t been seen since the early 1970s. The surge in production is a result of growth in tight oil (more commonly known as shale oil). Many, including myself, never imagined that oil production could grow enough to threaten the U.S. oil production peak from 1970. But that looks inevitable at this point. This production increase raises the question: Just how much will U.S. tight oil production increase before it peaks and begins to decline? Another million BPD? Three million BPD? The Energy Information Administration’s latest Annual Energy Outlook (with projections to 2050) attempts to answer this question, modeling several scenarios for future oil production. The Reference case […]