If you are worried about global warming caused by burning fossil fuels, this CNBC story (see below) citing data from the US Department of Energy about the incredible comeback of the US oil and gas industry will not make you happy. Indeed, massive amounts of additional oil and gas produced and used here at home and exported to the rest of the world mean continued reliance on emission-causing carbon energy for years to come.

If instead you are not concerned about greenhouse gases but are mostly worried about short to medium term dependence on imported critical fuels, and the huge cost involved, this is great news. Thanks to this unfolding domestic oil revolution, America is now very close to “Hemispheric Energy Independence”. This means that, combining massive increases in US domestic oil production with some imports from Canada and Mexico, soon enough America will no longer need to import and pay for any oil from the Persian Gulf, Africa or other unstable regions of the world. In short order after that, with additional domestic production, the US may become totally energy independent, something deemed unimaginable a mere decade ago.

So, plenty more oil in America. Is this good news, or bad news? You decide.

From CNBC (January 15, 2019):

“The U.S. will make major strides towards energy independence in the next two years as oil production and exports hit new highs, according to the Department of Energy.

U.S. oil production, already at an all-time high this year, will increase by another 2 million barrels per day by 2020, the agency’s statistics bureau projects. The same year, the nation will start exporting more crude oil and fuel than it imports, the Energy Information Administration said in in its latest forecast.

American drillers pumped an average 10.9 million bpd in 2018, breaking the record going back to 1970. EIA sees U.S. output averaging 12.1 million bpd this year and 12.9 million bpd in 2020. [Italics added]

“According to the January outlook, the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico will continue to push U.S. production into record territory over the next 24 months, approaching 13 million barrels per day some time in 2020,” EIA Administrator Linda Capuano said in a statement.

Most of the growth is coming from shale fields like the Permian, where frackers use advanced drilling methods known as hydraulic fracturing to free oil and natural gas from rock formations.

The surge in U.S. production is making the country less reliant on foreign oil. In 2018, net imports of oil and petroleum products fell from 3.8 million bpd to 2.4 million bpd. EIA forecasts net imports will dwindle to 1.1 million bpd next year and just 100,000 bpd in 2020. In the final three months of 2020, EIA thinks the U.S. will become a net exporter by about 900,000 bpd.

The U.S. already ships out more natural gas than it imports. Next year, gas production will jump another 8 percent to a new all-time high at 90.2 billion cubic feet per day, EIA projects. Growth in 2020 is seen slowing, with gas output hitting 92.2 Bcf per day.

By 2020, EIA thinks natural gas will generate 37 percent of the country’s electric power, up from 35 percent last year. Meanwhile, coal’s share of electric power generation will slip from 28 percent to 24 percent during the same period. That will help contribute to a further drop in U.S. coal production.”

–CNBC January 15, 2019