For half a century, our objective has been to achieve independence from OPEC, loosely described as independence from foreign oil.
Finally, we can achieve this objective.
Admonitions that we only have 2% of the world’s oil reserves are irrelevant and bunkum.
We have enough oil in North America to last us for decades, if not well into the next century.
Fracking has been the breakthrough that allows us to produce enough oil to counter price manipulation by OPEC. See Foiling OPEC.
Today, we produce about 6 million barrels of oil per day (mbd), with Canada producing another 2 mbd. (See note.)
Doubling our output, and also that of Canada’s, would bring our collective output to 16 mbd.
We can accomplish this objective by continuing the use of fracking to develop tight oil in shale at several areas around the United States, while also developing our oil resources in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), in federal lands and in Alaska, including ANWR. The federal government has essentially placed all these areas off-limits to drilling.
Producing 16 mbd would likely stabilize the world price of oil – OPEC couldn’t manipulate its output to affect the price of oil, but would have to continue producing as much oil as it could.
The recent meeting at CERA Week 2012 projected that we and Canada combined could produce 15.1 mbd by 2020. This reaffirms other projections
Doubling our output is a reasonable and doable objective.
The growth of China and India, and other developing countries, will increase demand.
We can help offset that new demand with our oil output, so that we won’t have to import oil from OPEC – that oil will be available for importation by China and India.
Once again, we will be able to export petroleum products, such as jet fuel and gasoline, which will create additional jobs.
According to CERA Week 2012, Brazil is projected to produce 4.5 mbd by 2020, which will help supply the increased imports of China and India.
The United States is blessed with huge reserves of oil, natural gas and coal.
We are already independent with respect to coal.
Fracking has allowed us to become independent with respect to natural gas.
Opening the OCS, federal lands and ANWR to drilling, and using fracking to obtain oil from tight shale, will allow us to become independent with respect to oil – if we have the political will.
Victory is within reach – we can finally achieve our objective of being energy independent for at least the rest of this century.
Note: Does not include natural gas liquids (NGL) which amounted to approximately 2.3 mbd in 2011, and which are also forecast to increase to around 3.8 mbd by 2020.
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