Top Numbers in Oil and Gas Production by State


While it’s no surprise that Texas is the number one state in both oil and gas production, the other states that top the lists for crude oil and natural gas might surprise you. For example, North Dakota’s production of crude oil increased by 251 from 2010 to 2014 and is now the second largest state for oil production in the United States.

Even when states are limited by government sanctions, for instance, environmental protection statutes in Alaska, there are still numerous opportunities for oil and gas production. The following numbers for oil and gas production by state demonstrate the potential for investors interested in this industry.


Crude Oil Production (data from April 2016)


1. Texas

“Texas leads the nation in crude oil reserves and production,” according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. “The state has almost one-third of all U.S. crude oil reserves.” The Lone Star State produced 96.9 million barrels of crude oil in April this year. That is more than all the combined barrels from the remaining top four states on this list. Additional data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration says the 27 oil refineries in Texas have a capacity of over 5.1 million barrels of crude oil per day and accounted for 29 percent of the nation’s total refining capacity as of January 2015.

2. North Dakota

Second on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s list of top crude oil-producing states is North Dakota. The Peace Garden State accounted for 12.5 percent of the nation’s total crude oil production, generating 31.2 million barrels in April 2016. An increase of 251{335c974e2d9974e4ac278ecec6a6684801c17d5ab958c4405bc55dcadc20c6a8} in North Dakota crude oil production from 2010 to 2014 is attributed to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing endeavors in the Bakken Shale formation.

The future of crude oil production in North Dakota is looking bright. “A revised assessment released in 2013 estimated that there are more than 7 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil from the Bakken and Three Forks formations in the Williston Basin; much of that oil is in North Dakota,” stated the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

3. California

With 18 operable refineries, The Golden State produced 15.6 million barrels of crude oil in April 2016. The combined capacity of these refineries totals an output of 2 million barrels per day. The state has experienced a sizeable decrease in crude oil production over the last three decades, however, California still produces 6 percent of the United States’ oil.

4. Alaska

With the capacity to produce .5 million barrels of crude oil in a day at its five refineries, production in Alaska has decreased over time as oil fields have matured. In April 2016, The Last Frontier produced 14.6 million barrels of crude oil. While many large swaths of lands remained unexplored in Alaska, oil exploration and drilling are prohibited due to environmental restrictions in areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

5. Oklahoma

Similar to Alaska with five refineries with the capacity to produce half a million barrels of crude oil in a day, Oklahoma made 12.8 million barrels in April 2016. While the state hit its lowest crude oil production rate in 2005, production has rebounded in the Sooner State. By 2014, the state had produced twice the level it had in 2005 while proven oil reserves doubled between 2009 and 2014.


Natural Gas Production (data from 2014)


1. Texas

Two years ago, Texas produced 7,953,343 million cubic feet of natural gas, a total of 29 percent of the nation’s marketed natural gas production in 2014. “Like crude oil production, the state’s marketed natural gas production reached its peak in 1972,” the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. “From that peak of about 8.6 trillion cubic feet, yearly production declined to about 6 trillion cubic feet before stabilizing in the mid-1980s. Since 2004, natural gas marketed production levels have rebounded and, by 2014, reached 7.95 trillion cubic feet. Much of the increase in production is the result of drilling in the Barnett, Eagle Ford, and Haynesville-Bossier shale formations.”

2. Pennsylvania

Producing 4,214,643 million cubic feet of natural gas in 2014, the U.S. Energy Information Administration explains, “Pennsylvania’s annual gross natural gas production, primarily from the Marcellus Shale, exceeded 4 trillion cubic feet in 2014, doubling the state’s 2012 production and making Pennsylvania the nation’s second-largest natural gas producer.” In fact, the Marcellus Shale, spanning Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, Ohio, and Maryland, has the largest estimated proved reserves of any U.S. natural gas field.

3. Oklahoma

In 2014, Oklahoma produced 2,310,114 million cubic feet of natural gas, accounting for 7.4 percent of the nation’s marketed production for that year. Additionally, Oklahoma’s 2014 production marked the state’s all-time high for natural gas production, surpassing its 1990 record substantially. “Oklahoma also has substantial shale gas and coalbed methane resources, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. “In 2013, Oklahoma was the fifth-largest shale gas-producing state, after Texas, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Arkansas, and its proved reserves are substantial.”

4. Louisiana

Next on the list is Louisiana, producing 1,980,287 million cubic feet of marketed natural gas in 2014, accounting for 7 percent of the country’s marketed natural gas production for that year. One of the state’s largest production areas is the Haynesville Shale. Additionally, the state has three onshore liquefied natural gas terminals, the most out of any state in the nation.

5. Wyoming

Accounting for 6.6 percent of the nation’s marketed natural gas production, Wyoming produced 1,791,235 million cubic feet of it in 2014. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that two-thirds of Wyoming’s natural gas production occurs on federal leaseholds. The southwest portion of the state, mainly the Greater Green River Basin, is responsible for the majority of Wyoming’s natural gas production.  Furthermore, 16 of the country’s largest natural gas fields are located in the Cowboy State, and further exploration continues, particularly in the Powder River Basin.

If you’d like to learn more about oil and gas production by state or how you can get involved in the oil and gas sales process, contact BWAB today!