US oil production surpasses 1970 peak – if NGL are included.

FT: “US production of liquid petroleum is surpassing its previous peak, reached in 1970, in the latest landmark for the country’s shale oil boom. Four decades of decline in US oil output have been reversed in just five years of growth.”
“Petroleum production, including crude oil and related liquids, known as condensate, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) such as ethane, was 11.27m barrels per day in April, almost equalling the peak of 11.3m b/d reached as an average for 1970. Recent growth rates suggest that it has now exceeded that figure.
The composition of US production today is not the same as in the early 1970s, in that it has a higher proportion of NGLs, which have a lower energy content and value than crude oil. Crude production of 8.3m b/d in April was still well short of its record high of 10m b/d in November 1970.
Even so, the rebound in US output has refuted claims that it was in irreversible long-term decline. Forecasts from the US Energy Information Administration suggest that crude production will also come close to its 1970 peak in the next few years.
The US is already the world’s largest producer of oil and gas, taken together, and is one of the top three in terms of oil alone, alongside Russia and Saudi Arabia.
….Philip Verleger, an energy economist, said that it was difficult to predict how far US production would continue to rise. He added that the technology was evolving at an accelerating rate, and it was “not beyond the bounds of possibility that we could be producing 20m b/d in 2020”.
However, the US government’s EIA has predicted that production will peak again around 2020 and then start to decline.
Mark Lewis, an energy analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux, said that because the most attractive reserves had been drilled first, and the output from old shale wells declined very quickly, future production growth would be more difficult to achieve.
Predictions that the US could surpass Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production of about 9.7m b/d and sustain that for a long time were “completely overblown”, he added.”