US oil production could hit 11M barrels per day this year

Oil production in the U.S. could soar to 11 million barrels per day bpd by the end of 2018, especially if the Trump administration puts the necessary infrastructure – pipelines, refineries, export facilities – in place, according to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.

“There’s no reason why we can’t produce over 11 barrels a day,” he told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney during an interview on Thursday. “If we have the infrastructure in place, my God, we could be at 14 million barrels a day.”

U.S. crude output, which has shown no sign of slowing, has surged more than 27% in the past two years to 10.73 million bpd, inching closer to Russia’s 11 million bpd. Russia is the top oil producer in the world, followed by Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

Baker Hughes’ weekly rig count, released on Friday, showed U.S. energy companies added 13 new oil rigs to production last week, increasing total drilling activity to its highest level since March 2015.

“That’s a lot of leverage overseas with Russia [and] Iran,” Zinke said. “This is unheard of in the history of this country.”