By Rebecca Elliott and Luis Santiago
Ten years ago, the U.S. ranked third in global oil production, trailing Saudi Arabia and Russia.
A decade later, it leads the world in oil as well as natural-gas output, having more than doubled the amount of crude it pumps while raising gas production by roughly two-thirds, according to federal data.
There is a simple reason for the surge: fracking. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques spurred a historic U.S. production boom during the decade that has driven down consumer prices, buoyed the national economy and reshaped geopolitics.
The added oil production changed the relationship between crude prices and the U.S. economy. Whereas higher oil prices were once an unequivocal drag on the country’s economy, the impact is now more mixed. More-expensive crude still hurts consumers, but it is an economic boon to the country’s revived oil-producing regions, partially offsetting the impacts.
“Oil prices go up—Texas wins, North Dakota wins, New Mexico, Oklahoma,” says University of Chicago economist Ryan Kellogg.