WASHINGTON, July 10 (UPI) -- The American Petroleum Institute said domestic oil potential is inhibited by federal regulations despite an increase in the number of oil wells drilled in 2013.
API said there were 8,739 oil wells drilled in the United States during the second quarter of 2013, a 9 percent increase year-over-year. The total number of natural gas wells completed during the second quarter increased 2 percent, to 12,645, compared to the same period in 2012.
API statistics chief Hazem Arafa said the oil and natural gas industry was in the midst of an expansion because of access to private and state lands.
"Additional access to our own vast energy resources and streamlined federal permitting would allow for more opportunities to produce U.S. energy while creating more American jobs and generating more revenue for our government," he said in a statement Tuesday.
Advocates of more oil and natural gas drilling accuse President Obama of restricting access to some areas thought to hold significant reserves. The Obama administration counters with information showing domestic energy production has led to few imports from overseas.
More than 21 million acres offshore Texas will go on the auction block to energy explorers in August. The U.S. Interior Department said the acreage could generate as much as 890 million barrels of oil and as much as 3.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.