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Surging shale production is poised to push U.S. oil output to more than 10 million barrels per day – toppling a record set in 1970 and crossing a threshold few could have imagined even a decade ago.The U.S. government forecasts that the nation's production will climb to 11 million barrels a day by late 2019, a level that would rival Russia, the world's top producer.The economic and political impacts of soaring U.S. output are breathtaking, cutting the nation's oil imports by a fifth over a decade, providing high-paying jobs in rural communities and lowering consumer prices for domestic gasoline by 37 percent from a 2008 peak.U.S. producers have already far outpaced expectations and overcome serious challenges, including the recent effort by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to sink shale firms by flooding global markets with oil.Top U.S. oil firms such as ExxonMobil and Chevron a decade ago turned much of their focus to foreign fields, leaving smaller firms to develop U.S. shale.
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