Saudi Arabia has retaken the position of the world’s top oil producer from the U.S., according to the International Energy Agency.
“Saudi Arabia’s elevated oil production has allowed it to overtake the U.S. and become the world’s largest oil producer,” the Paris-based IEA said in its monthly report on Tuesday.
While Saudi Arabia added 400,000 barrels a day of output from low-cost fields since May, about 460,000 barrels a day of “high-cost” production was shut down in the U.S. America has been the world’s largest producer of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons since April 2014 following the shale oil boom.
U.S. output in August stood at 12.2 million barrels a day, including natural gas liquids, according to the IEA. That compared with Saudi Arabian production of 12.58 million barrels a day the same month.
The drop in U.S. production came as the number of rigs drilling for oil and gas fell to a record low of 404 on May 20, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc. That number has since recovered to 508 as of Sept. 9.
Saudi Arabian crude supply climbed to 10.65 million barrels a day in July, before easing to 10.6 million in August. Production has averaged 10.36 million barrels a day in the first eight months of this year, almost 200,000 barrels a day higher than the year-earlier period.