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US becomes World Leader in Oil and Gas Production

Karan Patel, Fall Reporter

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The IEA, or the International Energy Agency, released an annual energy forecast report in November of 2017. The IEA monitors production and consumption of 29 countries. The US, who once mostly relied on imports, has become the undisputed leader in global production of oil and gas.

The report discussed on BBC.com and Bloomberg.com says that 80% world’s supply of oil and gas will come from the US by 2025. It is said that by 2025, American oil production will equal that of Saudi Arabia in the height of its expansion period. The IEA said that the United States will challenge Qatar, Russia, Norway, and Australia to be the highest producer by 2022.

All of this is happening because of new technologies which allow us to unlock new resources and also because of the recent high prices set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, also known as OPEC. Improved fracking technologies opened up the shale oil and gas deposits in America, leading to decreasing gas prices and a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions. The current generation is switching from coal to gas.

Despite the success of fracking, it is a highly controversial practice that involves blasting sand, water and chemicals into shale rock to release the oil or gas inside. The process of fracking has been linked to earth tremors and water pollution. With booming gas and oil prices, there have been advances in horizontal drilling techniques which have made resources once thought inaccessible possible to recover.

The US has been the largest consumer of oil and gas, but China has recently took this spot. China’s consumption is part of the reason for America taking spot as number one producer. It is said that China is projected to account for almost 40 percent of growth. China is a developing nation with a need for oil and gas to fuel their nation for day to day operations. America will once again take the spot of highest oil and gas producer as it did many hundreds of years ago.

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