U.S. shale production set to cut crude imports

E&E Publishing

Booming oil production in North Dakota and Texas has set the United States on track to reduce its reliance on imported crude to its lowest level in 20 years.

Dependence on foreign crude is expected to drop to 42 percent this year, said Adam Sieminski, head of the Energy Information Administration. According to EIA data, the nation relied on imports for 44.8 percent of its 2011 petroleum consumption, down from about 60.3 percent in 2005.

Higher oil prices and the increased use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have helped companies boost production from U.S. shale formations.

“What’s happening in North Dakota, and in Texas with Eagle Ford, Bakken formation in North Dakota, is a tremendous development for U.S. oil production and economic growth,” Sieminski said.

Despite gains in domestic production, U.S. gasoline prices will likely rise 5 to 10 cents per gallon by Labor Day weekend before falling in the fourth quarter, he said.

Rising pump prices are a function of the rise in global crude prices, partly due to a drop in exports from Iran and nations outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Sieminski said.

Still, he said, “gasoline prices should come back down again. We think crude will come down a bit as well.”


Judge Upholds Eminent Domain for Pipeline in Texas/The New York Times 

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August 2012