The U.S. energy industry, after decades of stagnation, has taken off like a rocket, leaving Saudi Arabia in the dust. In August, the Energy Information Administration [EIA] released international energy production data for April, the
sixth straight month with the United States as the world’s top petroleum producer.
Folks, we are now the global oil superpower. Have you heard
about this? I didn’t think so. It’s a huge story with enormous consequences for America, but virtually ignored by the state-run media.
Here’s the scorecard: The U.S. produced 12.09 million barrels
per day [MBPD] of petroleum in April, compared with second place
Saudi Arabia, which produced 11.2 MBPD, and third place Russia,
which produced 10. 5 MBPD.
We are now producing more oil than we’re importing. Let me
repeat: U.S. oil imports have dropped below U.S. domestic production, with imports representing just 40 percent of demand.
Another shocker: most of those imports are from Canada and other
Western Hemisphere producers; America today gets a mere 28 percent of its imports from the Persian Gulf.
On July 10, International Energy Agency Director Maria van
der Hoeven declared that when it comes to oil production, “North
America has set off a supply shock that is sending ripples through-
out the world … A real game changer in every way.” The U.S. also
leads the world in the production of natural gas, so much so that,
according to the Institute for Energy Research, we are now poised
to actually export it.
FRACKING REVOLUTION. The sudden emergence of the United
States as the world’s energy Top Dog is due to innovative extraction techniques from shale rock referred to as hydraulic fracturing,
or fracking. Pioneered by Texas oilman George P. Mitchell in the
1990s, the fracking process injects water mixed with sand and
chemicals into a well at high pressure. The pressurized fluid fractures the shale rock and releases trapped oil and natural gas. The
use of fracking, combined with precision directional drilling, has
created new economical vistas of energy extraction in several states,
most notably the immense Marcellus Shale region in Pennsylvania,
Ohio, New York, and West Virginia.
Folks, it is no exaggeration to say that this technology changed
the trajectory of the world economy. Thanks to fracking, according
to Manhattan Institute energy expert Mark Mills in National
Review, the U.S. “stands to gain over four million jobs from
“Some [OPEC] member countries are really suffering from U.S. shale oil.”
— UNNAMED OPEC OFFICIAL, QUOTED IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/30/13
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