Skip to main content

Exploration & Production

We Keep America Going Strong!

API is the only national trade association representing the entire oil and natural gas industry. Our industry's major segments encompass all the steps involved in finding, producing, processing, transporting and marketing oil and natural gas. The oil and natural gas industry supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.

Access to oil and natural gas resources from federal lands and waters is critical to supplying the energy needs of American consumers, businesses and homeowners.  In the United States, we are fortunate to be able to produce oil and natural gas from leases with private ownership, but these resources can provide only a modest portion of the energy our modern economy requires.  Oil and natural gas on the Outer Continental Shelf and on multiple-use, non-park public lands in the Inter-Mountain West and in Alaska will be increasingly important to our nation's energy future.


Increasing access to onshore domestic resources will mean more jobs, more revenues to help cash-strapped local, state and federal governments and greater energy security. America needs a balanced energy policy that promotes energy efficiency, conservation and greater supplies of all forms of energy, including domestic oil and natural gas. The industry has proven it can develop these resources safely and in an environmentally responsible manner in all regions, including on non-park federal lands. This section discusses current access to these lands and the growing role that onshore government lands need to play in meeting the nation’s energy needs.


As of 2014, 16.5% of oil and 4% of natural gas came from offshore areas. Technology has enabled the industry to explore deeper waters in the Gulf of Mexico and to make many new discoveries while minimizing impact on the environment. This section discusses the industry’s offshore activities, including the technology we use and the steps we take to protect our workers and the environment.

Hydraulic Fracturing

Getting to natural gas isn’t always easy. That's where hydraulic fracturing plays an important role in America's energy supply.

Natural Gas

Natural gas is America's new energy frontier. Technological innovation has opened the door to abundant new energy resources in the U.S.

Oil Sands

Advanced technologies developed over many years are used to produce oil from oil sands.

Oil Shale

Oil shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock containing a solid material (kerogen) that converts to liquid oil when heated.


In the early 1970s, as petroleum production from the Lower 48 states entered a decline, a new discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope of Alaska offered the U.S. the promise of a significant new source of competitive domestic supply on a world class scale.

Thank you for Subscribing Unable to Process Request x