PwC begins its report with a brief review of the history to date of shale oil and shale gas in the United States. The economists point out that shale oil production has grown from 111,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2004 to 553,000 b/d in 2011, or an annual growth rate of 26%, albeit starting from a very small base. We know shale oil production increased further in 2012.
The oil production increase in North Dakota alone, where the Bakken tight oil formation dominates the output, rose by 233,805 b/d last year. Furthermore, the Energy Information Administration, in its supplemental information supporting its latest Short Term Energy Outlook, is calling for an increase in tight oil output between November 2012 and December 2014 of 1.13 million b/d, or nearly all of the projected total U.S. crude oil production increase during this period of 1.26 million b/d.