We will be the fracking kings…
The US will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer “by around 2020”, an International Energy Agency (IEA) report has said.
The IEA said the reason for this was the big growth and development in the US of extracting oil from shale rock.
This has enabled the US to gain significantly more extractable oil resources.
As a result, the IEA predicts the US will become “all but self-sufficient” in its energy needs by around 2035.
The US shale oil industry has grown significantly in recent years.
It extracts oil from the ground using a method called fracking – pumping down a mixture of sand, water and chemicals at high pressure.
The industry says the method is safe, but critics say it could cause earthquakes and pollute water sources.
The IEA predicts that the US will be producing 11.1 million barrels per day by 2020, compared with 10.6 million from Saudi Arabia.
Currently the US imports about 20% of its total energy needs.
The IEA also expects that the US will overtake Russia as the word’s biggest gas producer by 2015, again thanks to fracking, which can also be used to extract natural gas.
Science has the power to really put a nation on top even if it normally wouldn’t have had the resources to be considered as such.
Of course, with the US dependency on oil so high it is almost comical to think of us trying to systematically continue sustaining our oil consumption at a cheap price. But I guess if anything is going to do it, this is it. Naturally the US needs to get to a point of being entirely energy self-sufficient but the idea that we have gone the path of doing so with oil as opposed to more new and diverse technologies could actually be quite a bad precedent…
The potential for the environment being damaged more in the long run due to the harmful byproduct of an oil based economy… well, it seems that it just got a lot higher now, doesn’t it?