Russell Gold and Daniel Gilbert at The Wall Street Journal present plenty of data showing that the U.S. may well have already surpassed Russia as the largest oil-and-gas producer, making the U.S. the largest producer of oil and gas in the world. We’ve known that the U.S. was closing the gap for some time as data has been accumulating showing that imports of natural gas and crude have been declining.
In fact with export terminals for natural gas due to fully come online in the next few years, all are expecting the U.S. to soon become a net exporter of natural gas, a move that could drive up the price of the resource. If natural gas prices head north, American manufacturers will be unhappy as cheap energy is driving a factory renaissance while renewable energy producers will celebrate an increase in prices for their main competition.
Shale wells continue to drive this boom and many are waiting to see just how costly shale extraction proves as well as how quickly those wells exhaust themselves. Add to this fact an estimate from Barclays PLC that $50.3 billion will be needed to be raised by U.S. oil and gas explorers to continue to grow production, and there are still many unknown factors. But the bottom line is that the U.S. is actually approaching the dreamed goal of energy independence. Now if only we could do it without accelerating carbon emissions and climate change.