In 2010, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projected that in 2019, the U.S. would be producing about six million barrels of oil a day. The reality? We’re now producing 12 million barrels of oil a day.
Meanwhile, EIA projected oil prices would be more than $100 a barrel. They’re currently hovering around $60 a barrel.
What’s happening: A pair of extraction methods — horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing — have unlocked far more oil and gas than experts had predicted, and companies have gotten hyper-efficient extracting more oil from each well.
EIA had projected in 2010 that the U.S. would be importing a net eight million barrels of petroleum by now, which includes crude oil and petroleum products like gasoline. In September, the U.S. actually exported a net 89,000 barrels of petroleum.
Flashback: A driving reason behind this is Congress lifting the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports in 2015, a policy change few thought possible a decade ago.
In 2010, EIA projected that the U.S. would be producing about 20 trillion cubic feet of natural gas by now. In 2018, the last full year of annual data, we produced more than 30 trillion.
What’s happening: Horizontal drilling and fracking are the key drivers here too — though oil is typically more valuable than gas, so the increase has been greater with oil than gas.
Meanwhile greenhouse emissions, predicted to be up, are down. And all of this happened . . . wait for it, wait for it . . . unexpectedly!