The U.S. is set to become the world's largest producer of liquid petroleum soon, overtaking Saudi Arabia, as the shale boom in the U.S. substantially increased production volumes in recent years.
U.S. production of liquid petroleum was 11.5 million barrels per day in August, compared to Saudi Arabia's 11.6 million barrels per day, according to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Given the rising output of oil and related liquids such as ethane and propane in the U.S., the country is set to overtake Saudi Arabia's production in September or November for the first time since 1991.
Crude oil production in the U.S. of an estimated 8.5 million barrels per day in August is still lagging behind Saudi Arabia's nearly 9.7 million barrels per day in August. Russia is No. 1, with 10.1 million barrels per day in the month.
The U.S. is expected to catch up with both Saudi Arabia and Russia on crude production, however, by the end of the decade. Hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) has been changing the world energy map. The U.S. has been the first country to take advantage of the technology and start commercial production of shale gas and oil.
As a result, its production skyrocketed, and the nation currently accounts for more than 10% of total world production. In 2012, the U.S. became a net exporter of liquefied petroleum gases for the first time.
Saudi Arabia is currently the largest exporter of petroleum liquids in the world and is home to the world's largest proven crude oil reserves, representing 16% of the world's total.