<p><strong id="docs-internal-guid-1af980de-4481-885c-9f40-4228152d96f7"> </strong></p><p dir="ltr"><strong id="docs-internal-guid-1af980de-4481-885c-9f40-4228152d96f7">Thanks to the fracking revolution, in 2013 the United States surged past both Saudi Arabia and Russia to regain its spot as the world's top energy producer. Above, water pools near an oil pump outside of Williston, North Dakota. (See related story, "<a href="http://energyblog.nationalgeographic.com/2013/10/04/u-s-edges-saudi-arabia-russia-in-oil-and-gas/">U.S. Edges Saudi Arabia, Russia in Oil and Gas</a>.")</strong></p><p><strong id="docs-internal-guid-1af980de-4481-885c-9f40-4228152d96f7"> </strong></p><p dir="ltr">Analysts believe U.S. production topped 12.1 million barrels per day, surpassing the Saudis by some 300,000 barrels per day. In western North Dakota's Bakken shale, and in Texas' Eagle Ford and Permian basins, drillers applying the combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have been able to reverse what once was thought to be an inexorable decline in U.S. oil production. (See related, "<a href="http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/03/bakken-shale-oil/dobb-text">The New Oil Landscape</a>," and "<a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/11/131111-north-dakota-wells-maintenance-water/">North Dakota's Salty Fracked Wells Drink More Water to Keep Oil Flowing</a>.")</p><p dir="ltr">Just in time for the 40th anniversary of the Arab oil embargo, which awakened the global drive for energy security, the United States finally might approach its goal of independence from foreign oil. (Take related <a href="http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/energy/great-energy-challenge/oil-crisis-history-quiz/">Quiz: What You Don't Know About Oil Crisis History</a>.) U.S. reliance on oil imports, which peaked at 60 percent of supply in 2005, is expected to fall to 25 percent by 2016. (See related, "<a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/11/131112-iea-world-outlook-2013-six-key-trends/">IEA World Outlook: Six Key Trends Shaping the Energy Future</a>.")</p><p><em>—Marianne Lavelle</em></p><p>Vote and Comment: "<a href="http://energyblog.nationalgeographic.com/2013/02/19/the-big-energy-question-how-has-fracking-changed-our-future/">How Has Fracking Changed Our Future?</a>"</p>

U.S. Fracks Its Way to Top in Oil, Gas

Thanks to the fracking revolution, in 2013 the United States surged past both Saudi Arabia and Russia to regain its spot as the world's top energy producer. Above, water pools near an oil pump outside of Williston, North Dakota. (See related story, "U.S. Edges Saudi Arabia, Russia in Oil and Gas.")

Analysts believe U.S. production topped 12.1 million barrels per day, surpassing the Saudis by some 300,000 barrels per day. In western North Dakota's Bakken shale, and in Texas' Eagle Ford and Permian basins, drillers applying the combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have been able to reverse what once was thought to be an inexorable decline in U.S. oil production. (See related, "The New Oil Landscape," and "North Dakota's Salty Fracked Wells Drink More Water to Keep Oil Flowing.")

Just in time for the 40th anniversary of the Arab oil embargo, which awakened the global drive for energy security, the United States finally might approach its goal of independence from foreign oil. (Take related Quiz: What You Don't Know About Oil Crisis History.) U.S. reliance on oil imports, which peaked at 60 percent of supply in 2005, is expected to fall to 25 percent by 2016. (See related, "IEA World Outlook: Six Key Trends Shaping the Energy Future.")

—Marianne Lavelle

Vote and Comment: "How Has Fracking Changed Our Future?"

Photograph by Danny Wilcox Frazier/Redux

Pictures: Ten Biggest Energy Stories of 2013

The U.S. fracked its way to the top, Asia's smog woes mounted, Arctic exploration heated up, and other not-to-be-missed trends appear in our roundup of the year's biggest energy stories.

Read This Next

The world’s newest whale is already endangered
Sanibel Island was a paradise. Then Hurricane Ian struck.
Capturing the art and science of NASA’s origami starshade

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet