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OIL'S GUSHING: 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 crude and other liquid hydrocarbons could rise this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. Saudi Arabia produces 11.6 million barrels per day.
CRUDE BEHAVIOR: Oil prices are high and new technologies have led drillers to resources once thought inaccessible. U.S. crude output is on track to post the biggest single-year increase since 1951.
FUELING THE ECONOMY: The drilling boom is helping the economy by slashing imports and boosting employment.