Because the United States is the world's largest importer, it is easy to forget that it:
- 1. Is the oldest major global oil producer;
- 2. was formerly the Number 1 global oil producer;
- 3. is currently the Number 2 global oil producer;
- 4. has produced more oil, cumulatively than any other country (180 billion barrels from 1918 to 1999);
- 5. has produced more oil, cumulatively than the current reserves of any country except Saudi Arabia.
Production in the United States has several unusual aspects. One is the private ownership of resource rights. In most major producing countries, the government owns the rights to develop resources. For privately owned property in the United States, the decision to explore for and produce oil is between the landowner and the producing company. The producing company compensates the landowner by the payment of a royalty on each barrel of oil produced.
All information on the Crude Oil background is from the US Department of Energy except for editorial changes and redaction of which GSO Corporation is responsible. More information on this subject can be found in the following EIA publications: Monthly Energy Review, Annual Energy Review, Petroleum Supply Monthly, and Petroleum Supply Annual.