Has President Obama increased drilling? We FuelFact it


FuelFact is a new project of FuelFix.com. In the run up to the 2012 presidential election, there is a lot of focus on high gasoline prices. We’ll be evaluating these statements, consulting with experts and rating their accuracy.

Inspired by sites like PolitiFact.com and FactCheck.org, our staff will judge the statements on our “truthiness” gasoline gauge:

  • Full: The statement is accurate.
  • Three-quarters Full: The statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information.
  • Half-Full: The statement is partially accurate but omits important details or takes facts out of context.
  • Quarter-Full: The statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts.
  • Empty: The statement is not accurate.


President Barack Obama has taken a lot of heat in recent weeks over gasoline prices from the public, members of his own party and Republicans. Critics have called for Obama to increase drilling, hoping the increased domestic supply could drop prices.

Obama fought back against the critics last week during a speech in Maryland about his energy policy.

“First of all, we are drilling,” he said. “Under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. That’s a fact. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs to a record high. I want everybody to listen to that — we have more oil rigs operating now than ever.”

So is it true or is he fudging his numbers?

And if they are correct, is he the reason for the rise over the past eight years?


During President Obama’s administration, crude oil production has risen to levels not seen since May 2002, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The United States produced more than 182 million barrels of crude oil in December in 2011, the most recent available statistics with the agency. The number is a bit lower than the 183 million barrels produced in May 2002.

Robert Rapier at the ConsumerEnergyReport.com produced a very nice graphic about the trend in oil production since Obama took office. You can see how oil production has risen under the Obama administration, but analysts have said the oil production rose because of projects approved prior to Obama taking office.

So oil production has risen under Obama, but it isn’t because of his policies, analysts said.

(Photo: Robert Rapier, ConsumerEnergyReport.com)

The industry has been critical of Obama’s comment on oil production, because they claim he is taking credit for something that he isn’t responsible for.

Obama has also claimed more rigs are drilling than ever before.

That fact is a little bit more difficult to check, because it’s unclear whether Obama is talking about a weekly, monthly or yearly number.

According to data from Rigdata.com and Baker Hughes, there are around 2,000 active drilling rigs in the United States right now. The number of rig, which counts oil and natural gas rigs, is more than 250 over the same time last year, but it well off the pace of December 1981, according to Baker Hughes.

In that year, there were 4,530 active drilling rigs in the U.S. during that year.

RigData.com, an independent site that counts rigs, said more than 2,500 rigs were drilling in the U.S. prior to Obama taking office. According to historical statistics, the average number of U.S. rigs in 1997 was around 2,400.

You’ll have to be a judge on that one.


Oil production has risen during the Obama administration, but analysts don’t give Obama the credit for the increase over the past three years.  Our FuelFact “truthiness” rating: According to analysts, this claim is hitting half tank on the facts.

Categories: General

89 Responses

  1. OK says:

    I feel that if many would turn off the right wing spin machine and simply analyze the facts, we could have some clear thought. Crude oil production is up, domestic drilling is up as well. These are facts. The debate can be whether the President deserves credit or blame for this. If people cannot even agreee to acknowledge facts, this nation cannot even have a real debate. The hatred for this President by the right has clouded rational thinking by otherwise logical people. Remove the politics and look at the numbers; the results will be realistic.

    Almost all oil produced goes to the free market, meaning it can be shipped to any nation on earth. Producing oil is not a clear indication that American consumption has increased efficiency.

  2. We Need a Real POTUS says:

    Simple answer even a mentally disabled liberal should know- NO.

  3. Old_Fighter says:

    Surprise! Surprise!…This “part-truth” approach is the essence of the whole Obama Presidency. Shovel the misinformation and, in some cases, clearly, lies on the public and let the media spin it to the point that Obama has saved the industry single-handedly. This administration has, in fact, done more to restrain and damage the oil industry than any other in history; yet, the national media continues to spin and spin until it all seems like it was all done in the best interest of the U.S. …. a really pathetic state of affairs for sure!

  4. Don Moel says:

    Kinda off-subject, but the biggest item driving prices at the pump is NOT crude prices; it’s refining capacity! It doesn’t matter how much oil we have, only a certain amount can be refined into fuel with the existing infrastructure and this country does not have enough! Additionally, the majority of new & ongoing drilling in this country is producing natural gas, not crude oil (the reason why raw natural gas prices are so low). Even with the abundance of natural gas, the prices for butane and propane are artificially high due to the lack of processing facilities to refine the natural gas. The answer is not so much ‘drill, baby’ drill, but ‘build, baby, build…refineries & processing plants that is….

    • Dan X. McGraw says:

      Don Moel, the refining capacity might be tight, but they aren’t so tight that they are impacting prices. America is still exporting gasoline and other refined products to other countries. American could probably be helped by more refining capacity, but companies aren’t eager to get into the refining business right now. In fact, you are seeing more companies leaving the business, because the profits margins are so low.

      As for natural gas, many companies, including Chesapeake, have dramatically scaled by drilling at dry natural gas wells because of the lower natural gas prices. The low prices aren’t allowing them to make a good profit on those wells. The Barnett Shale is a good example of companies scaling back and moving away. However, companies are still drilling for natural gas and oil in so-called wet areas, such as Eagle Ford, Bakken and etc.

  5. Sam Shaw says:

    Ivylgr – The EPA absolutely has jurisdiction over contamination of water sources by fracking, and DOE has jurisdiction over methods of well sealing. It’s true that they can’t directly shut down production on state lands, but state regulators almost always mirror national ones, and if the EPA or DOE change regulations to protect water sources from fracking operations, the state regulators will fall in line. And Obama was under very intense political pressure to do exactly that.

    And he had unilateral rights to totally shut down deepwater offshore drilling, but he did the right thing and, after a reasonable moritorium to review procedures and equipment, let them go back to work.

    In both cases, he bucked lots of constituent pressure to ensure that our oil and gas production could proceed in a safe and sane manner. That’s what I want from a President – intelligent, thoughtful leadership. I assume you’d prefer “see no evil, hear no evil” leadership that rubberstamps everything that every oil field cowboy wants to do.

  6. rat618 says:

    And what about Jeb Bush blocking drilling off Florida?

  7. scott38 says:

    I suggest that claiming that any increase in oil production is a result of Obama’s policies or actions is at best misleading and at worst a lie. Under his leadership (if you can call it that) oil leases on Federal lands has gone way down. The increase in production is from leases handed out during Clinton and Bush’s terms. From Hotair.com:

    This morning, we have two videos to show you. They are completely unrelated. Totally, fully, and undoubtedly unrelated. First, via the Right Scoop, Fox News takes a look at the rate of issuance for drilling permits on federal land over the last five years, and discovers that, to no one’s great surprise, the Obama administration has issued far fewer permits than George Bush — perhaps as much as a third or more less:

  8. hometown_fan says:

    Any idiot can run the price of a barrel of oil up, by refusing to drill on federal land, and refusing the Keystone pipeline. Then the free market (that the libs hate) will work and cause more drilling because of the profit motive (that libs hate).

    So a destructive agenda-driven hack of a president, that is inept, can drive the price of gasoline up, yes. The real question – is this good for Americans?

  9. chiefdecoy says:

    I work for a major offshore drilling firm. I will PROMISE you, that this “increase in drilling”, was NOT on my side of the industry. We have seen an increase in the past year. However, it is attributed exclusively, to moving our equipment into foreign waters……
    This President is a joke!

  10. Mike says:

    To my knoweldge neither Eagle Ford nor Bakken are on Federal leases….so what has the Federal Government done to impulse this development of new reswources in the lower 48???

  11. jarded says:

    I agree with the point onevois is trying to make.

    The media is trying to pin on Obama high gas prices, claiming he is responsible. Yet when he points to facts about oil production “under his administration” (meaning while he is in office), the media all of a sudden is claiming he doesn’t get credit for this.

    It’s all a game. Politics, the media. Only thing is, we’re all losers.

  12. onevois says:

    if you read obama’s claims literally, you see that he is not saying “because of me,” rather, he is stating that these things are occurring while he is in office. perhaps he is trying to underscore that he is not an impediment to big oil as many of his opponents try to label him as being.

    • Dan X. McGraw says:

      Onevois, I think that’s a very good point. Like any politician, Obama has picked his words very carefully. He hasn’t said, “because of me” oil production is up. However, he has said it in a way that readers/listeners might assume he is the reason for the rise in oil production. Of course, analysts and industry officials have attacked the notion that he is responsible.

  13. Mike says:

    The fact is that oil production has increased DESPITE of obama. We have enough oil reserves to power the U.S. for at least 250 years. And enough natural gas to last last almost another thousand years. If this idiot would get of the way, quit picking winners and losers, the free market will develop affordable alternative energy sources on it’s own.
    Everybody knows that when the government gets involved things come to a screeching halt.

  14. DrJ says:

    Here’s something to consider…I tried to email FuelFix through their published “contact us” link staff@fuelfix.com and my email was rejected automatically by mailer-daemon reading “Recipient address rejected: Access denied.”

    Why should anyone read or believe their reports if they block people from contacting them through their own links? Simple answer: They aren’t reporting, they are sensationalizing and don’t care to read all of the complaints their misstatements and lies will produce.

    Score…Obama 100%
    Fuelfix… 0%

  15. Larry says:

    China and other countries consume more. Car sales could be used as a rough indicator for this in each country. Also I suspect we don’t really know what these numbers are because they don’t know what they are. But a counter placed across their streets would help. My theory is that we don’t know where and how oil is consumed and that this affects the price. And they maybe reluctant to find out because it doesn’t fit with their view of their country. The world economy is everywhere but not with the knowledge we have and take for granted everyday of our lives.

    • Dan X. McGraw says:

      Larry, thanks for your comment. We’ve talked about it a bit on Fuel Fix before. Gasoline demand in the U.S. isn’t great, but the global demand has been growing due to countries like China, India and etc. These developing countries are buying more cars and using more energy. As a result, you are seeing high crude oil demand.

  16. Bob says:

    akh………your correct ANWR is a WAG……….however, i literally saw the data but never had a chance to read it …….is there oil in ANWR follow the dots …… after the well BP which owned 49% of Sohio decides to buy the rest of Sohio out??? ……….Sohio stock was trading mid 60’s …….BP offered $69 but the shareholders said no deal …………why??? because of ANWR ……. even outside directors believed ANWR was viable ……..Sohio finally is sold out for a little over $70 per share……ask me if i was holding $70 options ……. i still own BP stock today becasue of that reason ……..

  17. Jerry says:

    Interesting. Who pays your staff? Who owns the publication? Why are we to believe you are objective?

  18. Tom Andrew says:

    As always FuelFact omits a very important assement of breaking down the oil & gas production in terms of federal land/waters, state land, private land. Obama only controls federal land/water. Most increased production is in the Bakken formation on state and private land and the eagle-ford shale west of San Antonio.

    • Dan X. McGraw says:

      Tom, Thanks for your comment. The fact check was on the comment that President Barack Obama made about higher oil production. It didn’t break down the oil production from federal and offshore areas, because Obama hasn’t been saying he has increase production in those areas. The article does mention how Obama shouldn’t get credit for the rise in production, because it is due to projects approved prior to his administration.

      I couldn’t find any quick stats on oil production in the Bakken formation. But Eagle Ford does has some pretty decent figures. In 2011 (the entire year), the Eagle Ford produced 30 million barrels of oil, or roughly 17 percent of what the entire U.S. produced in December 2011 alone. Bakken is a huge source, but if you look at the bigger picture, the Eagle Ford is a drop in the bucket.

  19. EsquireXII says:

    The analysis omits a crucial bit of data. To what extent was the president forced to continue the previously approved permits. Presidential candidates are famous for saying that on Day one, I will defund Planned Parenthood, or Obamacare. It is usually hyperbole but the president frequently has power to stopped or significantly impede the previous administration’s policies. Government involvment in stem cell research is an example. So unless the president had no power to impede drilling, he should be given more credit.

  20. markie says:

    If you REALLY are interested in check to see if Obama had anything to do with increased production, you would look at amount of drilling on: a.) Federal lands in the United States (we generally don’t need U.S. Government approval to drill on private lands except under b., below); b.) amount of drilling on non-Federal lands BUT where the mineral rights are reserved to the Federal Government (MUCH of where I used to live in Wyoming would fall into this category); and c.) off-shore drilling.

    I do not know as I have not done the research, but antidotaly I do not believe that drilling/production is up in these circumstances.

  21. Ivy Leagr says:

    At least someone – Jackalope gets this. Sam Shaw, unless it was federal land in your examply in PA, Obama has nothing to do with it. He has zero jurisdiction on State or fee lands. Why do you people not understand that? He can’t take credit for something he has no control or jurisdiction over.

  22. Jim says:

    I am surprised that in this long comments dialogue that nobody mentioned that natural gas demand was impacted by the mild winter Obama ordered Mother Nature to provide.

  23. Bigkahuna1 says:

    I certainly hope the republican candidates jump all over this and prove obama is totally off base in his assertions.

  24. BarksintheCountry says:

    Drilling and production are both down on federal lands—where obama has the say. On private land, where the only clout he has is his corrupt EPA, drilling and production are up. What is so difficult with this this? The guy is a liar.

  25. DrJ says:

    Very misleading. FuelFact should maybe brush up on English before rating anything anyone says. In no part of the quoted statements does Obama or his administration claim or attempt to take credit for the increased production. The President simply states facts that are 100% true and FuelFact assumes meaning behind the one word “we”. It’s like when a football team scores and a fan says, “we scored.” Clearly the fan isn’t on the team and isn’t claiming credit for the score. The President is an American and, as a group, Americans are drilling and producing more crude than ever. Election influence aside, my bet is that, if pushed to celebrate or admonish the increased production, Obama would choose the later. One thing is true either way…production and prices are up…Proof again that America alone can’t control oil prices.

    • Dan X. McGraw says:

      DrJ, You are correct that Obama never claims that he is the sole reason, but the wording of his comments is a bit misleading. His other comments are a bit of an unknown. The number of drilling rigs on a weekly count are not at record highs. The number of rigs is pretty close to where America was prior to his administration.

  26. Robert says:

    If the President has to take the blame for deficits created by the last Administration’s policies, he should get the credit for increased oil production. It is hypocritical to lay blame and not give credit at the same time. If we listen to the nay Sayers, they’ll tell us the oil isn’t really coming out of the ground at all! Just like they’ve tried to convince us the economy isn’t improving and that the affordable healthcare isnt a plan conceived by the American Heritage foundation. A Republican think tank.

  27. jameshenderson says:

    Just tell the truth Obama. If you wouldstop making up crap and be so arrogant, life would be a little easier. With that said, there are plenty in politics just as bad as him on both sides of the party line. I wish we could just clean house and vote some average hard working joes in to office. Nice to dream.

  28. Romney was a democrat says:


    The EPA was signed into existence by Richard Nixon in 1970, it is not and never has had anything to do with the DoE.

    You do not seem to have a grasp of basic facts, yet feel compelled to have such a strong position, that is based, on nonsense. Just nonsense.

    You look really silly and we feel embarrassed for you. Quit while you are behind.

  29. Dust off says:

    Do y’all really think that the oil company,s would drill more to make the price go down

  30. Paul says:

    I love how Solyndra is treated as if it’s “the only example” of solar power. We could power this whole country with solar power if they wanted to. Unfortunately, I had to use the word “they” and not “we.”

    Transportation is obviously a different animal, but we could still be using solar and wind for that, as well as hydrogen…that is if we actually had a real transportation system.

    This whole “debate” is such a charade that does nothing more than keep our focus off of what we have obviously BEEN needing to do over the last several decades at this point. We shouldn’t even be having this discussion.

  31. akh says:

    Bob, you need to re-read Frank’s post. He is 100% correct. BP is a goliath, with multi-national interests all over the world. To suggest that they would have been unable to pursue the Deepwater Gulf AND the North Slope is ludicrous. In fact, they DID do both. North Slope exploration and continued development and production at Prudhoe and Kuparak River was all done in parallel with drilling and producing some of the largest fields in the GOM; Mars, Ursa, ThunderHorse, NaKika, Marlin, etc.

    The KIC #1 was drilled with Chevron as the Operator. It is one of, if not the most, secret pieces of information in the industry. I doubt highly that you know anyone who has any more than a WAG about what it found. I have no idea why the information would be in London, since it was Chevron who led the fight to protect it’s secrecy.


  32. akh says:

    I’m willing to bet a good number of you unwilling to give the President any credit for rising oil production are not nearly as critical when it is Governor Perry making the same claim.

  33. AmericanDefender says:

    We ALL KNOW this is a LIE and Obama/Liberal Propaganda! NO WHERE on your “graph” does it show his SHUTTING DOWN offshore drilling after the BP incident, which we ALL KNOW happened!

    • Dan X. McGraw says:

      AmericanDefender, America produced more than 161 million barrels per month of oil during the three-month BP oil spill, according to EIA data. To put that into perspective, American produced more than 161 million barrels of oil per month only once from 2006 to the end of 2008, according to EIA data. No one has forgotten about the Gulf oil spill or the moratorium that followed, but oil companies are still produced oil during that time.

  34. BarnicleBill says:

    Any changes in oil production is due to the work between landowners and oil companies… NOT the government. There has been no new drilling on public lands as the administration refuses to issue permits.

    • Dan X. McGraw says:

      BarnicleBill, you are correct that drilling on federal and Indian lands went down in FY 2010 to FY 2011, but the number isn’t zero.

  35. lawaggie says:

    President Obama states that “Under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. That’s a fact. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs to a record high. I want everybody to listen to that — we have more oil rigs operating now than ever.”

    Let’s start with the statement “We have more oil rigs operation now than ever.” That’s a blatant misrepresentation. The highest rig count operating “ever” was in the 1980’s with a little over 4,500 rigs running versus the little less than 2,000 operating now.

    As to “America producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years.” Looking at the graph you show, and draw a straight line back from now to 2004, it looks about the same.

    So bath on your “truthiness” rating would be a quarter full. Or three quarters empty.

    • Dan X. McGraw says:

      Lawaggie, the graph is just a good representation of the difference between the Bush administration and the Obama administration. The EIA data shows a bit different story. On its monthly report, America hasn’t produced as much oil as it did in December 2011 since May 2002. We mentioned the highest weekly rig count in the story, but it’s unclear what Obama was referring too. If he was referring to weekly rig count, he is certainly wrong. He got a half tank, because his comments about oil production are misleading and the rig count is a bit of an unknown.

  36. Sterling Minor says:

    If “Bob” wants to have his own blog with his own points, he should do so; however, it is time for “Bob” to leave Dan’s blog and others’ blogs to those with comments.

  37. greg says:

    while everyone blames obama for the price of gas talking about how much it’s increased since he was sworn in try to remember something. gas cost 4.50 a gallon under bush right before hurricane ike and it was about a 1.00 a gallon when he was sworn in. look at the drop in production from ike. yet for some odd reason the price of gas sprialed down after ike (which was the same time the market crashed). i really don’t think this has to do with supply and demand, it’s commodity traders. obama opened up a lot of offshore drilling right before the BP disaster. BP, nor anyone else, had any idea how to control the spill. that’s why the was a halt in drilling.
    oil companies like high prices, if the prices are low they won’t drill. hence tons of layoffs in the oilfields after the price dropped. big business and big government are both part of the problem if you ask me.

    • Dan X. McGraw says:

      Hurricane Ike caused some localized high prices, and it did cause gasoline to jump 23 cents nationally. As for the comments about Bush, gasoline was around $1.37 in Jan. 2001. At the end of his second term, it was $2.56. Prices did top $4 during his administration, but as we’ve said about Obama, the president doesn’t have any control over the factors that cause high gas prices. During Bush’s tenure, crude oil prices topped out over $145 a barrel, which he had zero impact on.

  38. Realist says:

    The rig count today versus the rig count just a few years ago is not an apt comparison because new drilling and completion technology has made today’s wells more productive than ever. We’re producing more oil and gas from fewer wells. In other words, forget the rig count and look at the production volumes. We have so much shale gas that producers are flaring off gas in the Eagle Ford and elsewhere. We don’t need more natural gas until we find more markets for it — i.e., power generation, natural gas vehicles, and LNG for overseas consumers.

  39. Bob says:

    I see that some lack of reading skills has created twisted fallow comments.

    West U Coog: I believe the alge pond scum comes from your prez’s comments at the University of Miami late last month……..part of his green scum energy policy …….just like Solyndra another dry hole …….search it you find it.

    Bob: My first post today referred to the non Federal lands ie Eagle Ford and Bakkens contributing to the inceased oil production.

    Bilbo: I never said billy bob was at fault for Macondo. I said if ANWR had been pursued a time delayed most likely would have happen therefore letting offshore technology to advance more. We all know every offshore well creates new challenge where technology sometimes has to catch up with the well……. keep an eye on Jim Bob Moffet’s deep gas well this is a prime example.

    Frank: ahhhhh someone with reading skills …..no offense just my satire

    Your correct about the unit operations being separate, however if Mukluk would have hit it would have been a no brainer for John Brown to pursue ANWR. I believe GOM would have have had a more tempered pace. Brown was alway balls to the wall and working on a tight budget. Just a footnote of interest talking about the advancement of technology.

    The one that got away: Did Mukluk oil end up in the Kuparuk field?

    BP’s 1982 Mukluk well, drilled from a gravel island in the nearshore waters of the Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s North Slope and costing in excess of $1 billion, has gained notoriety as the most expensive dry hole in oil industry history. Testing a potential oil trap where rocks of the Sadlerochit group, analogous to the reservoir rocks of the nearby giant Prudhoe Bay field, abut a regional break in the rock strata known as the lower Cretaceous unconformity, BP expected the well to encounter a massive oil pool. In the event, all that remained of any oil that might once have existed in the Mukluk structure was extensive oil staining.

    And people have tended to view the Mukluk failure as resulting from oil leakage through the rocks that should have sealed the oil trap.

    But recent petroleum system computer modeling by scientists from computer services company Schlumberger suggests that the Mukluk oil may have in fact drained south into the Kuparuk River field. If that is correct BP, with a 39 percent ownership interest in Kuparuk, could unknowingly have been producing oil originally from Mukluk, earlier knowledge of which might have saved a few dollars from the company’s exploration budget.

    On May 11,2011 Schlumberger’s Kenneth Peters told the Pacific Section, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, that a new 4-D computer model of the North Slope petroleum system might have prevented the Mukluk debacle, had the model been available at the time of the Mukluk drilling. Using seismic data and covering much of northwest Arctic Alaska, the model can play speeded up, visual images of how the rocks appear to have been deposited and then subsequently deformed, displaced, eroded and re-oriented as a result of upheavals in the Earth’s crust at various times.

    This model indicates that about 97 million years ago there would have been a structure at the Mukluk prospect that would have accumulated oil, along the lines that BP had expected, Peters said. However, later tilting of the rock strata somewhere around 60 million years ago would have caused the accumulated oil to migrate through sands that would have formed an oil conduit along the lower Cretaceous unconformity, with the unconformity providing an escape route for the oil, rather than providing a mechanism for sealing the oil trap. The model suggests that the oil would have flowed southeast into the reservoir sands of the Kuparuk field, with some oil also migrating towards the northwest.

    The danger of snapshots

    And the lesson to be learned from this new insight? Rather than just looking at static snapshots of current structures where oil may be trapped underground, it is important to consider how these structures have evolved over time and how this evolution relates to events and processes in the regional petroleum system, Peters said. The 4-D modeling of an oil and gas basin can reduce exploration risk, he said.


    It’s time for ANWR if only for national security reasons. This world isn’t getting any friendlier……………xxxxxxxxxx

  40. leon henson says:

    obama has been accused of every bad happening for the last 11 years. so he should get credit for the oil drilling. just a thought

  41. Kramz says:

    To put this into proper perspective you need to track the price of oil and gas as they are key factors in whether or not drilling is taking place. Towards the end of Bush’s second term the price of a barrel of oil was a small fraction of what it is today.

  42. Sam Shaw says:

    The President quoted a statistic that is 100% true. And it is untrue that his policies had nothing to do with it – After the BP disaster, he was under intense pressure to permanently ban deep water offshore exploration, but he took the reasonable approach to reviewing safety procedures and letting the industry go back drilling. And he was under intense pressure to outlaw shale fracking in Pennsylvania due to water contamination, but he took the reasonable approach and let the industry proceed pending further data. So his policies ARE, in fact, directly responsible for much of our oil production.

    The truth tank ain’t half full, it’s 100% full.

  43. KeJo says:

    seems to me, if the price is this elastic in the last 6 years, it has nothing to do with local production or president. Not to mention: in my mind our US Oil should be left in the ground for future generations, we owe them something.

  44. Jackalope says:

    In 2011, production on public lands fell 275,000 barrels/day; production on private lands rose 375,000 per day. The POTUS has little, if any, sway on private land production but a lot of sway on public land production. Production increased in spite of the administration.

  45. Ed says:

    Obama spins like a maytag…..

  46. 5alive says:

    Working in the oil and gas industry as a technical contractor I have seen a huge increase in my small companies workload. We have doubled our employment in the last 1.5 years and still struggle to find quality people. For those of you that work in the industry and want to see even more increased production, I ask you, where are the skilled workers going to come from? I have safety concerns with rapid ramp up in production with people with little or no experience. Do you share this concern? Perhaps the growth right now is all the job force can handle?

  47. Ivy Leagr says:

    Thanks for the BLM link Richard, maybe you should read the data before commenting. During Bush’s last three years in office – 15,095 wells spudded on fed land…Obama’s first three years – 9,693. Number of permits approved: Bush 20,479, Obama 12,821. How can cutting approved federal permits by 40%, which leads to 40% fewer wells spud be increasing drilling? Simple…it doesn’t. The increases are on lands he has no control over. Debate over.

  48. WriterDude says:

    The trendline under President Obama is definitely positive compared to Bush Jr., which is down significantly, then flat at best.

  49. BOB says:




  50. Thrudahoop says:

    After November 6th we’ll have our drilling and pipelines and $2.00 gallon gas cause O’Bama B Gone.

  51. Ivy Leagr says:

    This analysis is at least a start, albeit grossly misleading and incomplete. If you really want to set the record straight, simply plotting production numbers or rig count vs. time does nothing but fuels arguments of pro-administration supporters by not telling the complete story. Instead of plotting gross production vs. time, you must break out into production on federal lands, state lands, and fee lands over time – INDIVIDUALLY. Do something similar for rig count on state/fed/fee lands and it will likely show that the increase is not coming from Obama’s doing, rather that of industry drilling and producing where they can – state and fee land. Once again…it is industry moving ahead in spite of Obama, not because of his actions. Giving this a “FuelFact – half full” rating is quite irresponsible as using gross numbers completely skews the data. You can’t include state and fee lands in your FuelFact project for production/rig count as Obama has had NOTHING to do with growth in those areas

  52. Bilbo says:

    Wow. Who knew that Bill Clinton was responsible for the BP gulf disaster? Who knew that Clinton was responsible for BPs problems. What is wring with you guys? Get back to Rush.

  53. Dune says:

    Whether Obama is responsible can be debated like the chicken or egg, the fact is there are more rigs now than when he took office.

    I think $100+/barrel oil is the greatest contributor to the increased rig count.

  54. richard says:

    So how long does it take from spud to completion? Two years? Five years? A couple months? The argument is that the wells drilled during the Bush administration account for the current increase in production. So it takes what? five years for wells to start producing? So why is the argument being made that the Obama administration hasn’t permitted enough wells? To increase production five years from now? How does that affect today’s prices? You can easily look at the price of oil during the Bush administration, it went straight up. The logic, and the facts, are not on your side.

  55. richard says:

    Price of oil

    Wells spudded on Federal land

    Does it surprise anyone that the oil and gas executives haven’t run out to lecture us, as if we are children, how oil is a commodity and the price is set by the immutable Law of Supply and Demand?

  56. Paul says:

    Yeah, keep drilling. The oil companies need more oil to sell to China.

  57. BOB says:


  58. SaltWaterCroc says:

    Bob – actually, I worked on a 3D seismic project for Gulf Oil in the mid-80s. Not nearly as sophisticated as today’s product, but nice all the same. Just required big iron.

  59. SaltWaterCroc says:

    Remember – if it good news, it must be attributable to the previous administration (eg, the rise in the stock market is due to deregulation and bail out through TARP, GM’s solvency is because GWB stepped in, etc.). If it is bad news, it is solely the President’s fault, because he wants to turn the entire country into Baja Saudia Arabia.

  60. Frank says:

    You seem to have some good facts…I can tell you work in the industry…The thing that is wildly imaginative is that ANWR would have prevented the Macondo disaster…And your facts are sort of flung in the air.
    Let’s take BP, for example….Its structure has been one where the Business Units are led to operate as their own business and they have always been very lean as far as managment. So the decision to drill in the GOM was based on a business unit that was acting on its own interest and a bit non-connected to ANWR. Everyone at that time was heading towards GOM…if ANWR was open and also GOM they would have done both because of their BU type structure.
    About this article.
    Its true that production and rigs have increased since Obama took over…but that has little to do with his policies….his policies have been stagnant but clearly have not ditured growth in E&P in a significat manner, as per the information based by the EIA. Just like you can’t blame him for $4 gasoline, you can’t blame him for increased production or rigs.

  61. Adler says:

    Production and drilling are not the same scale. Many exploration wells, especially in deep water, are drilled 6 to 10 years before any production is seen from those discoveries. That would mean that any production increase from federal leases under Obama would have been the result of drilling under Bush.

    It would have also been beneficial to have the chart show US production since WW2, a far more telling chart, since we are still down by 4 million BOPD.

  62. 42 says:

    “The industry has been critical of Obama’s comment on oil production, because they claim he is taking credit for something that he isn’t responsible for.”

    Yet, there’s a converse to this analysis: The President and Congress have not taken action to effectively prevent this increase in oil production either. So I think it is entirely fair for the President to say that, “Under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years.” That is entirely true.

  63. Chris says:


    Your first two articles with this Fuel Fact template are total BS. An obvious smearing of the industry while painting the current administration in a positive light.

    If we were driving cars using your “fuel gauge” our tank would be full of hot air and we wouldn’t be moving.


  64. TXSFRED says:

    My comment on this is: Do any of you remember President Obama sending just about everybody working in the Gulf ( except Cuba and China ) home? I do. Any drilling is DESPITE Obama on mostly private land.

  65. West U Coog says:

    Bob’s the resident dufus right wing radio listener ( I wonder where you got the algae for Air Force One idea from?). Don’t bother trying to have an inteligent discourse with him.

  66. Reidthis says:

    Yes Dan, but some argue with true facts while others use skewed data for their sole benefit and purpose to bamboozle the “typical” voter-like Obama-he is an expert at deceit and uses smoke and mirrors like a skilled magician. Some like Pelousi just lie and hope the dumb voter fails to catch her lies-for example, her comment about ObamaCare this week is in direct conflict with her famous words to read it after it’s passed. Some are bigger liars, some are bigger data abusers, some excel at both, like Obama. For a POTUS to use Oil Tax Deductions (excuse me, he calls them “subsidies”) as a means to influence voters and tell voters he is working on lowering gasoline prices, but also will effectively cause price increases due to loss of tax deductions and for voters to believe that taking away tax deductions is good is making me sick to my stomach. When did people become so stupid (not ignorant, but stupid is what I mean) to believe that eliminating a tax deduction is beneficial to Citizens-the price of gasoline will reflect an increase in cost because higher taxes and of course taxes/costs are passed onto the consumer by having an increased price. Why do people believe the baloney thrown at them by this Administration? Do people not get taught simple economics in school anymore (I guess since 1970)?

  67. Bob says:

    My commet on ANWR is the fact that it would most likely delayed BP’s exploration $$$$$ therefore letting offshore technology advice. Take a look at Shell’s first deepwater in the Green Canyon compared to the technology used today. Look at the fracking tech compared to Mitchell first adventure into the Barnett Shale. Was there 3D seismic in the early 90’s? Your just trying to cover the liberals 20-20 point of view. Enough said.

  68. Anson says:

    Taking credit for the rig count by our President shows his true lack of knowledge concerning modern drilling methods. In the past one platform drilled one hole, today with horizontal drilling rigs can drill a number of strings from one location.

    Obama might be right but he’s too ignorant to know it.

  69. Bob says:

    Dan your flaking out ………….ANWR is real you greenie don’t want to face reality……..is this your Presidents “all of the above answers???”

    Bob how many acres of federal land are off limits? That is your dilema.

    • Dan X. McGraw says:

      Bob, I never said that ANWR isn’t real. I will argue that you can’t claim drilling ANWR would have any impact on the Macondo disaster. If you could, you should probably be picking lottery numbers. I’ll let you all debate President Obama “all-of-the-above” energy plan.

  70. Reidthis says:

    Obama also makes a false claim that he has opened up more Federal Land for leasing. He has not-he actually closed areas that were to be “open”. He merely skews the data to try to make the less-informed believe he has done well for the American Citizens, when in fact he has and continues to be a hindrance to the Oil & Gas Industry-just look at Keystone XL as a fine example. He works on voter bases/blocs, not solutions.

    • Dan X. McGraw says:

      Reidthis, couldn’t you argue any politician — regardless of party — works for voter bases and blocs?

  71. Bob says:

    First all of us that have an IQ more than the cost of a postage stamp knows it takes years to get the rig on the drilling site. Yes, price has made shale plays become economically possible, however by limiting access to conventional federal holders plays has played into the price of oil. Back in the early 90’s BP & CVX drilled a wildcat on Indian reservation right next to ANWR. The data was collected and stored in a very high securtiy vault in Houston. According to contacts within BP there were hydrocarbons. When the dummycrat Congress along with billy bob clinton put ANWR off limits. All that data was shipped off to London. This is when BP turned full speed ahead into the deepwater offshore. If we drilled ANWR first on land we just might have delayed the Macondo oil spill since as everyone knows drilling technology grows expnentially.

    • Dan X. McGraw says:

      Bob, everything looks better in 20-20 vision. It’s a silly argument that ANWR drilling could have postponed/prevented the Macondo oil spill. There is no way to say if that could or would have prevented the Macondo spill.

  72. Dune says:

    Bob, you are correct, however the reason for the boom in the Shale play’s is due to the price of oil, if oil prices fall, then the number of rigs drilling in the shale plays will fall as well.

  73. Bob says:

    What the data is missing is where are they drilling Eagle Ford and Bakken ……….no increase in federal lands or offshore ……….in fact as soon as he took office he restricted several partial of land in Utah…….. get you facts straight!!!

    • Dan X. McGraw says:

      Bob, The article really goes after two claims that Obama has routinely made on the campaign trail — oil production is up and more rigs are working than ever. The first claim is obviously the most heated debate. Under the Obama administration, crude oil produce is the highest its been in years, but analysts have said Obama shouldn’t get credit for that rise in production.

      The EIA has some good data, including a new report, about federal and Indian lands. Fossil Fuel production rose by about 1 percent between fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2010. It fell about 6 percent between FY 2010 to FY 2011.