US oil production reaches highest level in 24 years

U.S. oil production last week hit its highest level in nearly a quarter century, as companies seek to capitalize on high oil prices, according to federal data.

Domestic oil production hit 7.621 million barrels per day in the week ending Aug. 30, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its latest weekly update.

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That surpassed the 7.609 million barrels per day production mark set the week prior and was the highest production total since October 1989, when production averaged 7.644 million barrels per day.

Last week’s domestic oil production figures were up 39 percent from a year ago, although production fell in the final week of August 2012 because of shutdowns in the Gulf of Mexico because of a hurricane threat.

Still, considering 2012 U.S. oil production levels before and after the hurricane outages, last week’s figures are up about 22 percent from a year ago, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.