North Dakota, Texas production now accounts for nearly half of US crude

Operations in Texas and North Dakota now make up nearly half of the crude oil produced in the U.S., the Energy Department's statistics agency reported Tuesday.

Texas production topped 3 million barrels per day in April for the first time since the 1970s and North Dakota crude production topped 1 million barrels for the first time.

Total U.S. crude oil production in April hit 8.4 million barrels per day, with combined production from Texas and North Dakota hitting 4 million barrels per day.

That means that from 2010 to April 2014, crude oil production in North Dakota and Texas increased at an average annual rate of 37 percent and 28 percent, respectively.

At the same time crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has declined from 27 percent to 17 percent.

Crude oil production overall hit a milestone last year when the Energy Information Administration reported that domestic production surpassed foreign imports of crude for the first time in nearly 20 years.

The surge in crude oil production has pushed along a dialogue in Congress by lawmakers who want to see the decades-old ban on crude exports lifted.

The administration says it is "considering policy options" on more crude exports but no decisions have been made.

Last week the Commerce Department approved two permits to export a type of ultralight crude oil known as condensate that goes through a minimal refining process. The move sent a wave through the industry, giving hope that the administration may be moving toward a more open policy on exports.