The U.S. oil and natural gas industry is growing, but it needs to further expand to spur economic growth and strengthen energy security, the American Petroleum Institute said. The number of completed exploratory wells is 12% higher this year compared with the same period in 2011, API said. "Additional access to our own vast energy resources and streamlined federal permitting would allow for more opportunities to produce our own energy while creating more American jobs and generating more revenue for our government," said Hazem Arafa, API's director of statistics.

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