Is America on the Road to Energy Independence?

Last week in Uncommon Wisdom Daily, I told you about two potential “game changers” in oil — the rising global supply, and soaring North American production.

Today, I want to dig a little deeper and take a closer look at how America’s domestic oil supply has huge implications for our economic future … so huge, in fact, that most people can scarcely imagine …

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Here’s the scoop:

America’s domestic oil production jumped 14% in 2012 from 2011. That’s the largest rise in annual U.S. production since the middle of the 19th century!

Combined with more fuel efficiency, this has caused U.S. crude oil imports to tumble 9.2% year-over-year — to the lowest amounts seen since January 2000.

The United States is now adding more oil and gas production than any other country in the world. During the past five years, it has raised total supply by 2.59 million barrels per day.

Put another way: Our increase is more than Germany’s total crude oil consumption.

The Department of Energy reported that the U.S. produced 6.4 million bpd of crude oil in 2012 … a number not seen since the week before Christmas in 1994 — almost 18 years ago!

Will the U.S. Become the Largest Oil Producer?

The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently rolled out a forecast saying that, through a combination of rising oil-and-gas production and efficiency savings, the U.S. could become energy-independent by 2035.

That means we would be producing more oil than Saudi Arabia, which has been pumping just under 10 million bpd in recent months.

Take a look at this next chart  …

In its yearly world energy outlook, the IEA said that by 2030:

“The U.S., which currently imports around 20% of its total energy needs, becomes all but self-sufficient in net terms — a dramatic reversal of the trend seen in most other energy-importing countries.”

Adding in unconventional oil and gas, the total energy output of the U.S. could be eye-popping.

More Oil & Gas Means Less Dependency

Five years ago, the U.S. was importing 60% of its oil, a figure that had been rising since the early 1980s.

Fast-forward, and thanks to the shale drilling boom, the U.S. is now meeting 83% of its total energy needs.

We haven’t been that self-sufficient since 1991, according to the EIA and Bloomberg data.

Meanwhile, America is all but self-sufficient in natural gas because of the abundant flows from shale fields. The IEA forecasts that the U.S. will overtake Russia as the leading producer of natural gas in 2015.

By 2035, the IEA reckons the U.S. could become a significant gas exporter. Add in booming oil production and projected energy-efficiency savings, and the U.S. will become a lot less dependent on imported energy.

You’ll see America is moving from oil-and-gas dependence to independence. This trend sets us apart from the rest of the world, which is going to become more dependent on imported oil.

And they’ll be buying some of that oil from us.

Winners and Losers

Longer-term losers will include energy-intensive European manufacturers, because they’ll have trouble competing with their U.S.-based competitors.

The IEA estimates that electricity prices will be about 50% cheaper in the United States than in Europe, largely because of a rise in the number of power plants fueled by cheap natural gas, which would help American industries and consumers.

Oil producers can be winners, but only as long as they are low-cost producers and they can get their oil to market.

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All the best,


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Your thoughts on “Is America on the Road to Energy Independence?”

  1. Nothing was mentioned abt. the effect of the loss of under-ground water sources in the USA in the areas producing these new gas sources will effect progress.

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Sean travels far and wide to seek out small-cap values in the natural resource sector. His journey started in New England. As a youth he worked on Mt. Washington, on the cog railroad that runs to the summit.