CAMBRIDGE, MA – The dramatic surge in U.S. shale oil production could more than triple the current American output of shale oil to five million barrels a day by 2017, which would likely make the United States the No. 1 oil producer in the world, according to a new study by a researcher at Harvard Kennedy School.
Leonardo Maugeri, a former oil industry executive from Italy who is a fellow at the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, studied the performance of 4,000 American shale oil wells and the work of about 100 companies involved in shale oil production.
In a paper titled “The Shale Oil Boom: A U.S. Phenomenon,” Maugeri wrote that the unique characteristics of shale oil production are ideal for the United States -- and unlikely to be mirrored elsewhere in the world. These factors include the availability of drilling rigs, and the entrepreneurial nature of the American exploration and production industry, both critical for the thousands of wells required for shale oil exploitation.