America Should Aim to be an Energy Giant: Desperate Dependence on Middle East Energy is a Thing of the Past
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- Jun 26, 2019 5:30 am GMT
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America’s security and prosperity depends on energy supplies to a significant extent. During the Cold War era, the US had to ensure that the Middle East was not dominated by the Soviet Union because the Persian Gulf ruled the global energy market then and we couldn’t risk a major disruption to it.
Today, the US is not threatened by any region or held hostage for its energy needs. In fact, the world energy balance of power has shifted dramatically. Owing to a different geopolitical realities now, US foreign policy ought to modernize and recalibrate itself, starting from the Middle East.
Shale oil & natural gas production
Currently, America’s Permian shale reserve is officially the world’s biggest natural gas reserve, producing more than four million barrels per day. World energy production has seen a massive change over the last decade and the Permian’s dominance is proof of it, making America the world’s top oil and natural gas producer.
There was a time when much of the United States’ oil was trapped in shale rock, deep under the earth’s surface and inaccessible.
But around ten years ago much do liberal elite’s dismay and Russia’s, American energy producers tried the new technology of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to access oil trapped in shale rock formations like those in the Permian reservoir. This technology was previously only used to access natural gas.
Higher production, higher exports
Thanks to private property rights and the rule of law, production rose quickly. The US natural gas output has more than doubled much to President Trump’s delight and so many Americans who are thinking straight on this issue. America now has more recoverable natural gas reserves than any other country in the world.
This includes Saudi Arabia and Russia, which hold the number two and number three positions respectively, amongst the top energy producers of the world. Although the US domestically consumes far more energy than Saudi Arabia or Russia, American exports will probably surpass Saudi and Russian exports in the next five years – especially if Russia continues to do things that bother Eastern Europeans.
Increase in natural gas production
US natural gas production has flourished in recent years, further decreasing America’s dependence on imports and helping lower energy prices for American industry.
The Economist has called the US Saudi America due to the recent production shifts. The American energy industry will become even more disproportionately productive in the coming years with continued investment.
The Cold War played a role in our tight relationship with Saudi Arabia, but the Cold War is over and the United States is the world’s new energy powerhouse. Our foreign policies should thus be based on the current scenario of dominant oil, natural gas, and electricity production.