The last time U.S. drillers pumped 10 million barrels of crude a day, Richard Nixon was in the White House. The first oil crisis hadn’t yet scared Americans into buying Toyotas, and fracking was an experimental technique a handful of engineers were trying, with meager success, to popularize. It was 1970, and oil sold for $1.80 a barrel.
Almost five decades later, with oil hovering near $65 a barrel, daily U.S. crude output is about to hit the eight-digit mark again. It’s a significant milestone on the way to fulfilling a dream that a generation ago seemed far-fetched: By the end of the year, the U.S. may well be the world’s biggest oil producer. With that, America takes a big step toward energy independence.
The U.S. crowing from the top of a hill long occupied by Saudi Arabia or Russia would scramble geopolitics. A new world energy order could emerge. That shuffling will be good for America but not so much for the planet.
For one, the influence of one of the most powerful forces of the past half-century, the modern petrostate, would be diminished. No longer would “America First” diplomats need to tiptoe around oil-supplying nations such as Saudi Arabia. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would find it tougher to agree on production guidelines, and lower prices could result, reopening old wounds in the cartel. That would take some muscle out of Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy, while Russia’s oligarchs would find it more difficult to maintain the lifestyles to which they’ve become accustomed.
President Donald Trump, sensing an opportunity, is looking past independence to what he calls energy dominance. His administration plans to open vast ocean acreage to offshore exploration and for the first time in 40 years allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It may take years to tap, but the Alaska payoff alone is eye-popping—an estimated 11.8 billion barrels of technically recoverable crude.
It sounds good, but be careful what you wish for. The last three years have been the hottest since recordkeeping began in the 19th century, and there’s little room in Trump’s plan for energy sources that treat the planet kindly. Governors of coastal states have already pointed out that an offshore spill could devastate tourism—another trillion-dollar industry—not to mention wreck fragile littoral environments. Florida has already applied for a waiver from such drilling. More supply could lower prices, in turn discouraging investments in renewables such as solar and wind. Those tend to spike when oil prices rise, so enthusiasm for nonpolluting, nonwarming energies of the future could wane.
For now, though, the petroleum train is chugging. And you can thank the resilience of the U.S. shale industry for it.
Shale’s triumph seemed impossible a few years ago. In late 2014, Saudi Arabia targeted rivals, including American drillers. Rather than cutting production to keep prices high, Saudi Arabia persuaded OPEC to open the taps, sending prices lower than $40 a barrel in December, down from more than $100 a barrel just four months previous. The Saudis were hoping to starve the shale revolution. At first, they seemed poised to succeed, like they had in the past. U.S. production fell from a peak of 9.6 million barrels a day to 8.5 million barrels a day. Bankruptcies riddled shale patches from Texas’ Permian Basin to the Bakken Formation in North Dakota, and tens of thousands of workers lost their jobs.
Rather than declare defeat, shale companies dug in, slashing costs and borrowing like crazy to keep drilling. By late 2016 the Saudis blinked. They persuaded OPEC and the Russians to cut output. Slowly, steadily, West Texas Intermediate, the oil benchmark traded in New York, rose from $26 a barrel in February 2016 to where it lingers today.
What didn’t kill shale drillers made them stronger. The survivors have transformed themselves into leaner, faster versions that can thrive even at lower oil prices. Shale isn’t any longer just about grit, sweat, and luck. Technology is key. Geologists use smartphones to direct drilling, and companies are putting in longer and longer wells. At current prices, drillers can walk and chew gum at the same time—lifting production and profits simultaneously.
Fracking—blasting water and sand deep underground to free oil from shale rock—has improved, too. It’s what many call Shale 2.0. And it’s not just the risk-taking pioneers who dominated the first phase of the revolution, such as Trump friend Harold Hamm of Continental Resources Inc., who are benefiting from the surge. Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., and other major oil groups are joining the rush. U.S. shale is “seemingly on steroids,” says Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultant Energy Aspects Ltd. in London. “The market remains enchanted by the ability of shale producers to adapt to lower prices and to continue to grow.”
The results are historic. In October, American net imports of crude and refined products dropped below 2.5 million barrels a day, the lowest since official data were first collected in 1973. A decade ago, U.S. net oil imports stood at more than 12 million barrels a day. “For the last 40 years, since the Arab oil embargo, we’ve had a mindset of energy scarcity,” says Jason Bordoff, founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and a former Obama administration official. “As a result of the shale revolution, the U.S. has emerged as an energy superpower.”
For OPEC, the emergent superpower presents an unprecedented challenge. If the cartel cuts production, shale drillers can respond by boosting output, stealing market share from OPEC nations and undermining their effort to manipulate prices. The only solution for OPEC is to prolong the limits, as it’s doing now, and hope for the best. If cooperation between OPEC and Russia breaks down, it’s not impossible that OPEC breaks down, too.
If Shale 2.0 output keeps prices low, Russia would be a big loser. Moscow has used oil revenue to finance aggressive foreign intervention from Ukraine to Syria. The only solution is to continue cooperating with Saudi Arabia on keeping production low—not something the oligarchs relish.
With shale surging, U.S. imports of Saudi oil plunged to a 30-year low last year. The turnabout makes China and Japan far more dependent than the U.S. on the Middle East. It’s now possible for the U.S. to argue that other countries should help shoulder the burden of policing the shipping lanes leading to Middle Eastern and North African oil exporters.
Yet not all traffic lights are green for the U.S. It’s not immune from the ups and downs of the world market. When the price rises because of, say, political upheaval in the Middle East, it doesn’t matter where you are and how much you pump. The price rises in America, too.
There’s another problem: Shale 2.0 could hurt refiners. Shale oil is too good. For years, refiners spent billions of dollars on special equipment to process the dense, high-sulphur, low-quality crudes coming from Mexico, Venezuela, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. The quality of shale oil is so high that it yields little diesel, the fuel that powers manufacturing.
Such limitations may be mere speed bumps. But U.S. dominance is far from a panacea. It won’t reverse climate change. It won’t lessen the political influence of fossil-fuel producers in Washington. Nor will it completely neutralize the political influence of erratic petrostates.
With demand rising despite the emergence of renewables and the development of electric vehicles, shale may struggle to keep pace with global consumption. There’s a chance the world will witness that rarest of market loop-de-loops—high oil prices as well as rising U.S. production.
Saudi Arabia and Russia could then remain formidable obstacles to U.S. energy independence. They would be crowing from the top of the hill even as they keep a wary eye on America’s shale drillers.
These are troubles that would have been an embarrassment of riches for Americans who had to wait in line to fill up in the 1970s, when the U.S. determining its own energy future was just a dream. Any celebration over this accomplishment ignores the evidence that such dependence on fossil fuels is no independence at all. —
If you like our content help us with a share… or two …
Also - I have some free stuff for you .......
Nr 1. In This FREE Report you can Discover:
Secrets to acquiring the freshest, hottest leads via YouTube In-Stream ads quickly and easily! Best secret tips for the most effective targeting for your ads! Totally legal, but little-known method for literally stealing traffic from your competitors! Get more traffic to your videos and landing pages without spending a fortune! And much more - all within this special FREE report!
Nr 2. Did you know you can Absolutely EXPLODE YOUR EMAIL LIST FOR FREE with UNTOUCHED offline sources?
Nr 3. The #1 secret to becoming an affiliate superstar - Earn your first $100 online – without a dime to invest.
If you’re still looking to “make it online – I have just the thing for you. It’s a video series that shows how to make your first $100 online – even if you don’t have a dime to invest. Yes – nothing. Free. Nada. Is this possible? You bet. It’s the most powerful system used by those “in the know”. Good things don’t have to be difficult. And they don’t only come to those who wait. Have A Look
Nr 4. Top 10 Email Marketing Mistakes. Which of these mistakes do you make?
Nr 5. You can learn about : The hottest social networking site that will send an unlimited stampede of traffic to your site - for FREE! How to quickly locate a swarm of hungry buyers using "information portals"! The fast and easy way to use simple images to siphon targeted traffic, on command! Learn how to get the most possible traffic from Instagram, and make sure that traffic converts! And much more ...
Nr 6. It’s no secret… Facebook is an incredible place to get tons of free, viral traffic. But… most people are going about it all wrong. How many of these mistakes are you making? Download the free report to find out.
Nr 7. Special free report . It's called "Operation Midas Touch" and you can download it here...
The report features a surefire method for generating at least $1000 per week online,without a website or product of your own!
Nr 8. Instagram is still one of the hottest ways to get a LOT of traffic fast. All by sharing images. Sounds easy enough, yeah? Well, yes and no. If you want to really start driving a lot of traffic and making sales using Instagram then you should download this report.
Nr 9. When it comes to creating a product online there are so many ways to approach it. Wouldn’t it be great to just get the meat of it all so you can get started faster? Well, the good news is, today you can download a guide called the Product Creation Formula Quickstart Guide. It’s as the title suggests - a Quickstart guide. You’ll get a list of action steps to take right away. Download your copy today !
Nr 10. Would you like to finally USE all of that dusty PLR you have sitting around on your harddrive? Or maybe find the resources for the best PLR available - at the best prices? What about how to use that PLR to make you money with just a few minutes of work. Well, you’re not going to want to miss this!
Nr 11. Buzzfeed’s top post has more than 21 million views. Think about that for a sec… ONE of their articles has had over 21 million people who have read it! And they have thousands of articles... what would you do with that kind of traffic? A friend of mine hacked their method and was able to use it to get 11,592 targeted new subscribers in 2 weeks on their very first attempt!
Nr 12. Push notifications are one of today's hottest trends in website traffic and conversions, and for good reason. Studies have shown that as many as 40% of people will opt-in for push notifications, which is about TEN TIMES the rate of people who opt-in for emails! That’s huge! Not only that, but they're also highly effective at pulling clicks, as well. Some studies have shown CTR at an average of around 40%, with highs of as much as 80%! Again, that’s huge!
Nr 13. Would you like to know how to get more money from the exact same number of website visitors you’re currently getting? Even if you’re website is getting as few as 1-2 visitors a day, this report will show you how to increase your profits using these few handy hacks.
Nr 14. People have now realised that it's not the size of the list which matters, it's the quality. ... and the only way to create a quality list is by launching your own products. Let it be $7 ebooks, $17 info products, $27 video training product or software's... all of these work. My good friend Kevin Fahey has is revealing how he's launched over 20 products in the past 4 years, many of them top sellers. Needless to say he's banked a handsome amount in this time.
Nr 15. Do you ever feel that the man you like or even love, just doesn't see you or desire you in way you want him to? Or... maybe you're able to get a man's attention though not the right kind of attention? Or... maybe you're still single because you wait and wait for men to approach you first? What you may not know is that the way we flirt will either attract the "wrong" man for us or the "right" man.
Nr 16. When it comes to getting sales and leads online, there is ONE thing that 95% of marketers use... it's called a LIST. My friend Jimmy just released a free book that explains WHY a list is important and how YOU can build your own list. It's available right here (and it won't cost you a penny)
Nr 17. If you have tried everything, and still aren't able to get your Ex back, then you need to pay attention.
Nr 18. What if I told you that you could make ANY woman WANT to do ANYTHING for you? Would you think I'm crazy? Well... what If I told you that you could also make her LOVE every minute of it and come back for more?
Nr 19. I have a special free plugin for you today. It's called "Covert Hover Mini"
This plugin will triple your blog traffic by compelling your visitors to share your images on social media. This is some really clever stuff and it works like a charm. After you grab your free plugin, don't forget to read the free bonus report as it will show exactly how and why this strategy works like crazy.
Nr 20. The days of being able to get away with a basic WP theme and a pic or two are gone, your site needs to look good. Even Google are looking for you to have engaging graphics on your site. But getting good quality graphics made for your site is a pain, AND it will cost you both time and money (if you outsource it). But I have a special free download for you today. A virtual treasure chest of over 21K profit pulling graphics you can start sing today to generate more traffic & sales!
Nr 21. 20 professional full HD background videos. These background videos are perfect for giving your videos that extra kick they need to stand out from the crowd Oh yeah they are in full 1080p HD too, I hope you'll enjoy them.
Nr 23. No doubt, you've seen all of the video launches lately! There is a reason for it... Video marketing is a GREAT way to make money, and with the recent creation tools making it super accessable for anyone to get started... It's no surprise that more people are making videos. However... there is a missing element to most video marketing products...
Nr 24. For the first time ever... You can get the straight scoop on how someone is selling over $1,000,000/year of t-shirts on Facebook!Use them .... and have fun !