Free Markets, Free People

World’s largest oil producer? If we can get government out of the way …

That is the key. And, given the re-election of Barack Obama, it may not be very likely:

A shale oil boom means the U.S. will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer by 2020, a radical shift that could profoundly transform not just the world’s energy supplies, but also its geopolitics, the International Energy Agency said Monday.

In its closely watched annual World Energy Outlook, the IEA, which advises industrialized nations on their energy policies, said the global energy map “is being redrawn by the resurgence in oil and gas production in the United States.”

The assessment is in contrast with last year, when it envisioned Russia and Saudi Arabia vying for the top position.

“By around 2020, the United States is projected to become the largest global oil producer” and overtake Saudi Arabia for a time, the agency said. “The result is a continued fall in U.S. oil imports (currently at 20% of its needs) to the extent that North America becomes a net oil exporter around 2030.”

This major shift will be driven by the faster-than-expected development of hydrocarbon resources locked in shale and other tight rock that have just started to be unlocked by a new combination of technologies called hydraulic fracturing.

And there’s the rub. Fracking has been demonized by the enviros and the Democrats. Nevermind the fact that in this nation alone it has been in use for 64 years and over a million wells have been drilled using it. This is not new technology despite the apparent belief by some that it is and that it is dangerous.

Environmental groups and some scientists say there hasn’t been enough research on fracking.

Right.  1948.  A million wells.  No history there.

EPA is publishing new regulations on fracking which they claim will not impede production.  Any bets out there concerning the truth of that assertion?

We talk about “energy independence” often and others rightfully point out that oil is a global market and that it is difficult to become truly independent.  Given these new finds, I’m not so sure that argument is still valid.  Or at least it isn’t as valid as it was when we believed we only sat on top of 2% of the world’s reserves.

Let’s be clear here , the possibility of increased fossil fuel production, to the point of defacto energy independence flies in the face of everything the left wants to do in the energy sector.  Anyone who doesn’t understand that has not been paying attention.  We’ve seen it with this administration’s ban on off-shore drilling, putting areas of federal land off-limits and slow-walking the permit process.  There is no reason to believe that will change.  None.

We have the possibility to strategically help the country, create thousands if not millions of jobs, create revenue for government and begin to help a struggling economy get off it’s knees and at least begin staggering forward in a positive direction.  If the past four years is any indication, that’s an opportunity that will likely be passed up or at best, minimized.

Oh, this administration will talk a good game, it always does.  And it will claim it is interested in “all of the above” when it comes to energy.  But action speaks louder than empty words and the action we’ve seen from Obama, et. al., says exactly the opposite is true.

We’re sitting on potential energy resources that could be a veritable game changer.  One problem.  With a government in place that loves to pick winners and losers, it looks upon fossil fuel as a loser.

The results, unfortunately, are predictable.


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22 Responses to World’s largest oil producer? If we can get government out of the way …

  • The usual excuses:
    1) Climate change is real!  So is the sun rising in the east but it is tough to fear monger for more taxes on the latter.
    2) It will take decades to bring this production on line.  Nevermind they’ve been saying this for decades which is part of the reason why this isn’t currently on line.
    3) Fraking hasn’t been proven to be safe.  Of course nothing can be but that is besides the point.
    4) regulations don’t impede production.  You can still build coal fired power plants, it’ll just bankrupt you to do so.  If you don’t care about money then you can still do this so there is no impediment.  Just ignore reality to take that one seriously.
    5) Alternative energy sources must be considered along side these opportunities.  Nevermind that they have been tried,  they are required to be heavily subsidized, still fail, and can only cover something like less than 5% of the countries energy needs.
    Did I miss any?

    • You missed one thing: It’s Bush’s fault.

      • Actually, considering for 6 years we had Bush, House and Senate, how much did open up? 

        • Quite a bit … the off-shore moratorium, for instance, was lifted. More federal lands had been opened up. Keystone was begun. Obama replaced the off-shore moratorium after Deep Water Horizon. They’ve actually put more federal lands off limits (to including half the Naval PETROLEUM reserve) and have been slow walking permits for years. A vast majority of any increase in our supply has come from projects started on federal land before Obama and primarily on state and private land.

          • I just remember constant bitching about ANWAR and no headway.  Unless that was the equivalent of laying siege to the Holy City to cause the Islamists to stop pressing their boundaries. 

          • My guess is, had ANWAR been approved it would be off-limits now. And as I recall, the attempts to open ANWAR began in the Clinton admin. Still don’t understand that one.

          • Bush rescinded the off shore moratorium when oil hit $145/bbl.
            The price dropped $7/bbl WHILE HE WAS SPEAKING, and eventually hit $80(?)/bbl.
            Oh…and Exxon had more profits/rate during $80/bbl than when it was $145.

  • The people voted against these things and they’ll hardly understand what they’re missing out on.

  • Cultures do make mistakes. China was more technologically advanced in the 15th century, then turned inward and toward stasis. Easter Islanders cut down all their trees to erect statues.
    It looks like a society that built great wealth on personal liberty and markets is turning its back on both.

    • Yep, now they’ve been taught they can get ahead by looting the wealth of others while doing nothing really productive themselves.
      That wouldn’t perhaps be so bad if the people leading us didn’t think that method would actually work.

      • That wouldn’t perhaps be so bad if the people leading us didn’t think that method would actually work.

        It would be better if your regular John Q. Dunce, sitting in front of the boob tube, didn’t think so, too.

  • The results, unfortunately, are predictable …

    Carbon dioxide occurs naturally throughout Earth’satmosphere. In the thermosphere, CO2 is the primary radiative cooling agent and fundamentally affects the energy balance and temperature of this high-altitude atmospheric layer1. Anthropogenic CO2 increases are expected to propagate upward throughout the entire atmosphere, which should result in a cooler, more contracted thermosphere. This contraction, in turn, will reduce atmospheric drag on satellites and may have adverse consequences for the orbital debris environment that is already unstable. However, observed thermospheric mass density trends derived from satellite orbits are generally stronger than model predictions, indicating that our quantitative understanding of these changes is incomplete.

    I never saw this coming … orbital debris will take longer to come down.

    • I never saw this coming … orbital debris will take longer to come down.

      More home runs will be hit, too; ERA’s will soar.

    • “indicating that our quantitative understanding of these changes is incomplete.”
      There’s a take away line.  So someone understands their knowledge is incomplete.   I don’t suppose they’d be willing to expand that sentence to cover the entire man made global warming theory though.

  • But I didn’t see that the “40 year history of fracking” included ’40 years of research’.  The government’s position is to make sure we do not pollute the environment.  Business’ position is to make a profit, no matter what—even at the expense of the environment (after all, if they ruin the environment here, then they’ll  just move to a place where it’s not ruined).
    We also owe it to the world to not be a major polluter—although you don’t believe in global warming, possibly you do believe in non-pollution.  If we don’t act with other concerned countries, we become like China.

    • So “since 1948” is 40 years? *sigh*

      And, if you’ll actually research the topic, you’ll find that in those 64 years, that’s right 64 years, there has never been any groundwater pollution. Oh, there have been claims, but none that were borne out by evidence. Fracking takes place BELOW the water table. Well below. Scare tactics and invalid claims to the contrary, we’ve not suffered environmentally from fracking. And trust me if businesses “ruined the environment” with the process, there’d be plenty of evidence on display before now.

    • Okay, substitute ‘experience’ for ‘research’. Do you actually learn nothing from experience? Aspirin and colchicene, and probably a few other drugs,  been in use for centuries, but no real research has been done. Do we need to stop selling aspirin, etc.  until we have a few centuries of research?
      “We also owe it to the world to not be a major polluter”
      Fine. You can lead us by example by getting rid of your computer, automobile, and central heat/air conditioning.

    • “If we don’t act with other concerned countries”
      In case you have not noticed, we have been making major cuts in our pollution for about half a century now. We have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on pollution research, abatement, prevention, etc. I think that may show a little concern.

      • Based on his comments experience isn’t a factor for him.  He can’t or won’t look around and see an improvement in air quality, water quality, more concern for endangered species (and not endangered species).  He’s watched the changes in his lifetime, which I suspect is roughly the same time frame as my own and based on your time mention, your own, and NONE of the improvements we’ve made have sunk in for him.

    • ” we become like China”
      you sure that isn’t the anointed one’s goal Tad?

  • Let’s not get too excited about becoming the world’s largest oil producer and comparisons with SA. It’s a bit like looking at one year’s income statement vs the balance sheet. Perhaps the USA will have a year or more where it is producing more oil than SA but SA has a much bigger reserve and can keep producing for a long time. “Energy Independence” is another rallying cry of the uninformed. The USA could be EI given a high enough internal price but it would have to be walled off from the rest of the world’s oil supplies. Take a look at NK’s Juche policy and see how well that works. EI is a foolish idea. The correct thing to do is get out of the way and fuel and power producers to supply the market at a market clearing price.