US may soon become world's top oil producer

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Oil barrels

(AP Image)

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. oil output is surging so fast that the United States could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest producer.

The boom in production is being driven by high oil prices and new drilling methods that are allowing energy companies to unlock oil trapped between rocks.

U.S. production of oil and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. Energy experts say that within just a few years, the United States could top the Saudis.

Even if that happens, the U.S. will still need to import lots of oil to meet demand. Americans use 18.7 million barrels per day.

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