US could be free of non-North American oil by 2020

The often-stated goal of becoming energy-independent could become a reality for the United States much sooner than anyone had previously dreamed, according to American oilmen. Drilling for oil and natural gas in the United States is booming, spurred by the new technologies that make horizontal drilling and fracking possible.

oil-pipeline-US-Canada-fracking-natural-gas-energy-independent-EDIWeekly
With US oil production rising and demand dropping, analysts now forecast that it will not need to import non-North American oil beyond 2020. Canada could supply what the US does not produce itself.

 

It is possible today to extract oil and gas from rock formations where it was once considered completely inaccessible. That combination of horizontal drilling and fracking technology was first tested and proven to work in 2003. After a few years, according to a market analyst who spoke to The Economist, the major oil companies got interested, and the number of horizontal wells operating in the US exploded, growing from under 2,000 to more than 45,000 by 2012.

What’s more, the new-found reserves in areas such as the Bakken formation in North Dakota are much larger than anyone had anticipated. Estimates now put the recoverable US natural gas reserves at 2,200 trillion cubic feet, and recoverable oil, both fluid and “tight,” at 223 billion barrels. That number includes potential offshore oil. As one analyst put it, the estimates keep changing as the technology improves and our understanding of how much of the resource can be accessed changes.

Combined with the rapid expansion in US production is an almost equally rapid decline in demand. This could mean that the US will not have to import oil and gas from anywhere outside North America, largely from Canada, to meet all its energy needs. The US itself is projected by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to become the world’s largest producer of oil by 2020.

With the US forecast to produce 8 million barrels a day by the end of next year, and with demand dropping by 2 per cent last year to 18.56 million barrels a day, the US will be in a position to import the shortfall entirely from Canada and Mexico within a decade. Canada’s production is forecast to grow to 6,5 million barrels a day.

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • Top seven pieces of exciting new tech that will soon become mainstream
  • Automation-proof jobs, and jobs that will eventually be automated
  • US moves to cut coal-fired emissions highlight rift with Canada
  • 21 auto parts companies in Ontario invest in new technologies with help from Ontario Government
  • Bombardier promises to deal with Toronto's streetcars, while CSeries sales take off
  • Greater transparency, accountability called for in new homes warranty plan for Ontario
  • Manufacturing closer to stabilizing in January: report
  • Colossal Fusion Project Set to Transform the Energy Industry
  • For some car makers March was best ever
  • First LNG-powered ferry to begin service in Quebec
  • Entire airframe of this V-shaped flying wing houses passengers and cargo resulting in 20 percent fuel savings
  • SpaceX-1 Launches Falcon 9
  • Building code change could help drain water heat recovery manufacturers
  • Toronto Hydro testing underwater energy storage system for backup power
  • SpaceX launches Immarsat 5 F4: continuing the Elon Musk tradition of innovation with commercial payback
  • Microsoft acquires Montreal AI firm that creates "curious" machines that think like humans
  • Manufacturing sales up in November, government scraps duties on imported food ingredients
  • Flying car maker looking for first orders for its sports car/gyrocopter PAL-V
  • National Energy Board not doing enough to ensure pipeline safety: report
  • In a massive victory for the hydrogen vs. electric battery debate, the Toyota Mirai broke the world record for driving on one fill of hydrogen with 623 miles (1,003 km) in late May.
    Hydrogen Mileage World Record – Toyota Mirai Breaks Through: 623 miles or 1,003 km "Victory for Hydrogen vs. Electric"
Scroll to Top