The U.S. is already the world's largest produce of oil, and new figures show that, almost entirely due to shale production from the Eagle Ford and Permian formations in Texas, the U.S. this year will overtake Saudi Arabia to become the world's largest exporter of oil, and natural gas liquids, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"The U.S. energy revolution has done all of this," Dean Foreman, the Chief Economist for the American Petroleum Institute, told News Radio 1200 WOAI. "Turned us from a net importer to close to being a net exporter not only of natural gas, which were are currently, but close to being a net exporter of all energy, including oil and other products."
This is an amazing reversal of fortune not just from the 1970s, when OPEC regularly had its thumb on the U.S. economy, sparking oil embargos and gas lines for political reasons, but from just ten years ago.
Foreman says in 2008, before the shale revolution, the U.S. produced about 5 million barrels of oil per day.
"In February, we set a brand new U.S. production record of over 12 million barrels per day," Foreman said. That means that U.S. production has hit the 12 million bpd record far sooner than had been expected.
Nearly that entire growth in the past 11 years has been from shale production, mainly in Texas.
Saudi Arabia, which the U.S. passed along with Russia last year to become the largest oil producer in the world, turned out abotu 11 million barrels per day last month.
And Foreman says the increased production has had a major impact on energizing the U.S. economy and creating millions of U.S. jobs, not just in oil and gas, but in all fields.
Cheaper and more reliable natural gas has helped power the return of manufacturing after decades of 'offshoring,' as natural gas is themajor fuel for factory activity. Natural gas has also allowed utilities to switch away from coal powered generation, leading the battle against air pollution and making substantial cuts in the greenhouse gas emissions which have been linked to climate change.
But Foreman says the U.S. driver has been the biggest winner. What other products can you buy today that cost roughly half of what they cost in 2008?
"If we compare the energy revolution since 2010 to the years prior, go from the late 1990s to 2009, we can see we have not only lower prices, to lower price volatility," he said. "That volatility has since been cut in half."
That not only means the U.S. consumer is no longer subject to the whims of OPEC leaders, but the U.S. has essentially made OPEC irrelevant, by offering cheaper and far more reliable oil and natural gas to consumers from Europe to China, extend the U.S. influence at a time of changing world economic ties. For example, throughout the last decade, Russia routinely used its natural gas exports to Europe to influence European politics. The U.S. now sells more natural gas to Europe than Russia.
And Foreman says as new pipelines are completed in Texas and major improvement are on line for the Port of Corpus Christi, U.S. production will only grow through the rest of 2019.
"The U.S. should continue to grow its production, and that means the U.S. should continue to grow from the current 12 million barrels per day up to 13 million."