Energy Dept. boosts long-term U.S. crude oil production outlook

A oil pump in Texas at sunset
A pumpjack sits on the outskirts of town at dawn in the Permian Basin oil field in Texas. Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The Energy Department's statistical arm projected Tuesday that rising U.S. crude oil production will level off between 11 million and 12 million barrels per day, a level that's higher than the 2017 version of the annual long-term forecast but could nonetheless prove too conservative.

Why it matters: The increased projection in the base, or reference, scenario underscores the surge in oil development from shale plays — the stuff tapped by fracking and horizontal drilling — in Texas and elsewhere.