Press release | Aug. 20, 2019

Nearly two thirds of the world’s new oil and gas to come from the US

A staggering 61% of the world’s new oil and gas production over the next decade is set to come from one country alone: the US, according to a new analysis by Global Witness.

Read the full briefing, "The US is Set to Drown the World in Oil."

August 20, 2019, Washington, D.C. – New US oil and gas production over the next decade is expected to dwarf that of every other country. This puts global efforts to avoid the worst impacts of climate change at risk, warns a new Global Witness analysis.

The analysis calls for urgent action from the next US president to curb fossil fuel production, and calls on the Democratic National Committee to hold a climate debate for candidates to outline their plans for tackling climate change. 

To avoid climate catastrophe and limit warming to 1.5°C, global production of oil and gas needs to decrease by 40% over the next decade. Yet, oil and gas production in the US is set to increase by 25% over the same period.

“While the rest of the world moves ahead on setting ambitious climate goals that protect our planet from climate catastrophe, the US is doubling down on fossil fuels with a boom in oil and gas production that puts a safe climate at risk,” said Murray Worthy, senior campaigner at Global Witness. “The scale of new production forecast from the US is staggering, no other country comes even close.”

New oil and gas production from the US is set to be 20 times that of Russia and 40 times that of Saudi Arabia over the same time period – an increase that will further entrench its position as the world’s largest supplier of oil and gas.

If US states are compared to other countries, Texas would be the largest producer of new oil and gas in the world, making up over a quarter of all new production. Seven out of the top ten biggest oil and gas producers in the world would be US states, with only Canada, Brazil and Russia making it onto the list.

Other US states that make the top ten list are (in order of production): Pennsylvania, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Colorado and Ohio.

This analysis builds off a previous Global Witness report that shows we cannot afford to drill up any oil and gas from new fields anywhere in the world if we are to stay below 1.5°C and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

The new analysis looks specifically at the role of the US in leading the world down a path of climate crisis if production as planned continues.

“The next US president needs to have a plan for how to tackle the climate crisis – starting with ending fossil fuel subsidies and curbing the power of the fossil fuel industry over federal and state government,” said Worthy.

“We urge the Democratic National Committee to vote yes to holding a dedicated climate debate. Presidential candidates should have the opportunity to clearly outline for the American people where their priorities lie and what their plan is to tackle this looming carbon time bomb.”




Notes to editor:

1. Read the full Global Witness briefing here.

2. Data sourced from Rystad Energy’s UCube database. Ucube is a complete and integrated field-by-field database of the global upstream oil and gas market, including more than 65,000 oil and gas fields and licenses and covering the time span from 1900 to 2100. Rystad’s data is widely cited by major oil and companies, the media and international bodies such as the International Energy Agency.

3. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report on the risks and impacts of 1.5°C of warming was published in October 2018: 

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