(Associated Press files)
October 23, 2012
A pumping unit sucks oil from the ground near Greensburg, Kan. U.S. oil output is surging so fast that the United States could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest producer. U.S. production of oil and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent in 2012 to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. It's the fourth straight year of crude increases, and this year drillers are on track to post the biggest single year gain since 1951.