The majority of American oil produced in 2015 was provided by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, according to data published Tuesday by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The EIA reported that in 2000, about 23,000 fracking wells provided 2 percent of the nation’s oil — about 102,000 barrels per day. The number of fracking wells had grown to around 300,000 in 2015, producing 4.3 million barrels of oil per day. Fracking accounted for 51 percent of American oil production in 2015.
The report also notes that the vast majority of the new oil production came from recent wells drilled in the “lower 48,” not Alaska or the Gulf of Mexico.
Fracking, combined with horizontal drilling, has allowed the United States to increase its oil production faster than at any time in history. The process helped America surpass Russia as the world’s largest and fastest-growing producer of oil last year. American oil production in 2015 was 80 percent higher than it was in 2008. The U.S. produced an average of about 9.3 million barrels of crude oil per day in June.