HOUSTON, May 14 (Xinhua) -- The crude oil output in the United States rose 78,000 barrels a day to 8.428 million barrels last week, the most since 1986, thanks to a burgeoning shale production, the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy said Wednesday.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the latest figures on its official website on Wednesday, saying the country is fast approaching to energy independence.
According to data provided by the federal agency, the country met 87 percent of its energy needs in 2013, and 90 percent in December, the most since March 1985.
Since 2008, the United States has seen a dynamic transformation in oil and gas development spurred by hydraulic fracturing of dense rock formations, a new technology used in drilling shale wells.
The EIA said the nation pumped an average of 7.84 million barrels of crude oil per day at the end of last year, more than 10 percent of total world production.
The United States is expected to shift from a net importer to a net exporter by 2020 as shale production outpaces domestic demand. On an aggregate supply-demand basis, the country is rapidly approaching a self-sufficiency rate of 90 percent.
Crude output will average 8.46 million barrels a day in 2014 and 9.24 million in 2015, up from 7.45 million last year, the EIA said in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook on May 6. Next year's projection would be the highest annual average since 1972.
The International Energy Agency said in November, the U.S. is expected to become the world's top oil producer by 2015 on the shale oil boom, surpassing top energy producers including Russia and Saudi Arabia.