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Fracking to drive US oil production to record high

Fracking to drive US oil production to record high

US oil production is to approach a record high within three years, powered by fracking, according to the Energy Information Association (EIA).

In its latest annual outlook report, the EIA said it expects US output to hit 9.5 million barrels a day in 2016, marginally below the previous high of 9.6m b/d seen in 1970 and almost double the low of 5m b/d seen in the trough that occurred at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

'Ongoing improvements in advanced technologies for crude oil and natural gas production continue to lift supply domestic supply and reshape the US energy economy,' the EIA said.

The organisation expects oil output to start falling in 2020 as the impact of fracking wanes, but predicts that natural gas production will continue to grow, rising by 56% between 2012 and 2040.

Fracking, which remains a controversial extraction procedure, has helped drive US production up to a 25 year high and the extent of its impact caught out even the EIA, which last year predicted that output growth would rise by 7.5m b/d before this week's upgrade.

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