WASHINGTON, May 22 (UPI) -- Oil production from five Western U.S. states increased as much as 64 percent since 2010 in part because of new drilling methods, the Energy Department said.
The U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reported in its monthly petroleum supply report that onshore oil production rose more than 2 million barrels per day from February 2010 to February 2013.
The EIA said much of the recent focus on U.S. oil production gains have centered on Texas production, which doubled during the reporting period, and North Dakota, where output nearly tripled. Developments were expanding further west, however.
"Five western states in particular -- Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah -- account for 15 percent of the increase," the report said. "Production in each of these states increased between 23 percent and 64 percent over the same three years."
The EIA said oil production gains were achieved largely through the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing of underground onshore shale deposits.
The EIA reported in its short-term energy outlook, published last month, that U.S. crude oil production is expected to "grow rapidly" through 2016. The EIA said it expects U.S. crude oil production to go from an average of 6.5 million barrels per day recorded last year to 7.9 million bpd next year.