What’s the Key to U.S. Energy Security?
The United States could become nearly self-sufficient in oil within the next decade. Oil production from Texas, North Dakota, and other shale-rich states means the country is less reliant on foreign oil than at any time since at least the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s. Production has reached the point that authorities are calling on U.S. lawmakers to consider exporting oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a cushion normally reserved for domestic markets. That level of energy independence is redefining the aspects of the global marketplace. It will do little, however, to isolate the United States from its dynamics.
The Energy Information Administration, the analytical arm of the Energy Department, said in its short-term market report that crude oil production reached an average 7.6 million barrels per day in August, the highest level for any month in 24 years. That level should reach the 8.4 million bpd mark by next year.
EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski said Monday lawmakers might want to rethink policies regarding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the world’s largest emergency oil stockpile. Created in the early 1970s to respond to the Arab oil embargo, its 696 million barrels of oil are meant to keep U.S. markets satiated in the event of a global supply crunch. In 2011, the Obama administration answered the call by releasing 30 million barrels from the SPR. That was more to add more liquidity to a global energy market restricted by oil disruptions from Libya than it was to respond to a specific domestic crisis. With U.S. oil production on the rise, Sieminski said lawmakers may want to export more of that oil in the future.