And in other energy news, the United States averaged 8.075 million barrels a day in the first week of December, our highest total since 1988. It’s the latest in a string of milestones for the US, which continues to reap the benefits of shale. Fracking has changed the American energy landscape virtually overnight; the idea that the US might contemplate opening up exports of oil and gas would have been laughable ten or even just five years ago, but that’s where we are today. The shale boom is by no means a static phenomenon, either. As Bloomberg reports, production continues to expand at a breakneck pace:
Production in Texas has increased 21 percent from the end of 2012 through September, EIA data show. North Dakota likewise rose 21 percent, Wyoming is up 14 percent and Oklahoma added 19 percent, Colorado gained 11 percent and New Mexico advanced 12 percent, EIA records show.
And while true energy independence is by definition a myth, energy security isn’t. The influx of shale oil and gas has significantly reduced American reliance on foreign energy sources:
Taking into account all energy sources, including natural gas, petroleum, nuclear and renewables, the U.S. met 86 percent of its needs in the first eight months of 2013, on pace to be the highest annual rate since 1986, EIA data show.
There’s a lot to be optimistic about in America’s, and more generally North America’s, energy outlook in the 21st century, and it’s almost all thanks to fracking.