Just a few years back, peak oil proponents issued dark warnings of US energy scarcity in the decades ahead. Now comes word that North American shale gas, oil deposits and exploration technologies like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking,” could put the US on track to actually overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer.
According to the International Energy Administration’s World Energy Outlook, “the IEA's projections show U.S. oil production peaking in 2020 at 11.1 million barrels a day, up from 8.1 million barrels a day in 2011.” A helpful WSJ graphic illustrates it:
Turns out the US is sitting on huge natural gas and oil assets in shale rock formations, a fact recently recognized by OPEC, which forecast that its share of the American oil market would likely fall in the future. If so, the shale revolution will have big implications for the US trade deficit, economic competitiveness and geopolitical strategy in the years ahead.