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U.S. Production Growth to Be Led by Light, Sweet Crude Oil

Recent growth in U.S. crude oil production has been primarily light, sweet crude oil, defined as having an API gravity of 35 or higher and sulfur content of 0.3% or less. These light, sweet crudes, which are produced from tight resource formations, accounted for up nearly 90% of the 3.1 million barrels per day (b/d) growth in production from 2010 to 2017. Light, sweet crude oil accounted for more than half (56%) of total domestic crude oil production in 2017, and in EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018, this share grows to 60% by 2020 and to 70% by 2050.

U.S. supply of lighter crude oil from tight formations, such as the Bakken in North Dakota and the Wolfcamp and Eagle Ford in Texas, is projected to continue to outpace that of medium and heavier crudes. 

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