Shale Production Booms and Foreign Oil Imports Decline

Shale plays, like the Eagle Ford, are contributing to U.S. production growth that has pushed imports of foreign oil below 50%. That's down from more than 60% just 5 years ago. While hydraulic fracturing is highly debated, its use combined with horizontal drilling has shifted the U.S. from a position of a majority consumer to a producer who supplies most of its oil needs. We're a long way from producing enough oil for the country, but at least we have a bargaining chip at the table. We can produce more oil and have untapped reserves in the ground. If you have a couple of minutes, this is a pretty good article from the LA Times. 

U.S. net petroleum imports have fallen to about 47% of the nation's consumption, down from a record 60.3% in 2005, Energy Information Administration statistics show. It's been 15 years since the nation's reliance on foreign oil has been this low.

Several factors figure into the import decline, but a big one is a little surprising: U.S. petroleum exploration is experiencing a quiet renaissance with the help of technology and new drilling techniques.

The number of oil rigs in production in the U.S. has reached a 24-year high, according to oil field services company Baker Hughes. In 2005, domestic production was 1.89 billion barrels. This year, experts say, production is expected to surpass 2 billion barrels.

Read the full news release at