December 12, 2011

NO PEAKING:

America's New Energy Security: Thanks to new technology, the U.S. has become less dependent on petroleum imports from unstable countries. (DANIEL YERGIN, 12/11/11, WSJ)

Every president since Richard Nixon has called for energy independence. Nevertheless, U.S. reliance on imported oil long seemed to be headed in only one direction--up--and that pointed to inevitably increasing dependence on the huge resources of the Middle East.

No longer. U.S. petroleum imports, on a net basis, reached their peak--60%--of domestic consumption in 2005. Since then, they have been going in the other direction. They are now down to 46%.

What's happening? Part of the answer is demand. U.S. oil consumption reached what might be called "peak demand" in 2005 and has since declined. The country has become more efficient in its use of petroleum, and that will continue as vehicle fuel economy goes up. The economic slump has also muffled demand.

But developments on the supply side are particularly striking. U.S. crude oil output has risen by 18% since 2008. 

Posted by at December 12, 2011 6:31 AM
  

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