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Increasing US Oil/Gas Production Damaging Progressive Agenda

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 14, 2013

The article below was posted on BBC News earlier this month.  With the noise emanating from the three scandals currently infecting the Obama Administration, this type of important story is not getting the press it deserves.

There is a game changing events occurring in world’s energy production, a result of new drilling technologies.  More abundant and cheaper energy leads to higher standards of living and a happier and better fed world population.  This is truly good news, however, not for Leftist environmentalists.  Ever since the decrepit days of the Carter Administration, Leftists have ranted over the supposed dwindling world energy supplies.  When this narrative began to be proven false in the 1990s, the Left then pivoted and jumped on the man-made global warming bandwagon.

The actual agenda of Progressives of the Left has nothing to do with energy conservation or global warming.  Their agenda is purely political, focusing on power and consolidating their governmental authority.  The current scandals ongoing in Washington show the danger to individual liberties emanating from the Left.

Finally, given how wrong the Left’s science was on the supposed shortage of carbon-based fuels, it is difficult to trust their science relating to man-made global warming, a much more complicated issue to predict.

US shale oil supply shock shifts global power balance

4 May 2013

A steeper-than-expected rise in US shale oil reserves is about to change the global balance of power between new and existing producers, a report says.

Over the next five years, the US will account for a third of new oil supplies, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).  The US will change from the world’s leading importer of oil to a net exporter.  Demand for oil from Middle-East oil producers is set to slow as a result.

“North America has set off a supply shock that is sending ripples throughout the world,” said IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven.  The surge in US production will reshape the whole industry, according to the IEA, which made the prediction in its closely-watched bi-annual report examining trends in oil supply and demand over the next five years.  The IEA said it expected the US to overtake Russia as the world’s biggest gas producer by 2015 and to become “all but self-sufficient” in its energy needs by about 2035.

The rise in US production means the world’s reliance on oil from traditional oil producing countries in the Middle East, which make up Opec (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), would end soon, according to the report.

Slower growth

US production is set to grow by 3.9 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) from 2012 to 2018, accounting for some two-thirds of the predicted growth in traditional non-Opec production, according to the IEA.  Meanwhile, global oil demand is set to increase by 8% which would be met mainly by non-Opec supplies, the report said.

The IEA still expects production capacity among traditional Opec suppliers in the Middle East to continue to grow over the next five years, but at a slower rate.  Opec capacity, which counts for 35% of today’s global oil output, is expected to rise by 1.75 million bpd to 36.75 million bpd in 2018, about 750,000 bpd less than predicted in the IEA’s 2012 forecast.  The IEA cites the “growing insecurity in North and Sub-Saharan Africa” in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings as a key reason for the slowdown.  “The regional fallout from the ‘Arab Spring’ is taking a toll on investment and capacity growth,” the IEA said.

Fracking

The sharp rise in US oil production is largely thanks to shale oil, a product many have hailed as the saviour of the US energy market.  Fracking, the process of blasting water at high pressure into shale rock to release oil (or gas) held within it, has become widespread in the US.  But critics of shale oil point to environmental concerns such as high water use and possible water contamination, the release of methane and, to a lesser extent, earth tremors caused by drilling.  The process has been banned in France, while the UK recently lifted a moratorium on drilling for shale gas.

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