US Nearly World's New No. 1 Oil-and-Gas Producer
Combined output set to overtake Russia
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2013 2:11 AM CDT
Frac sand destined for the oil and gas fields piles up at a processing plant in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.   (AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)

(Newser) – The shale oil and gas boom has transformed energy markets so much that the US is on course to become the world's biggest combined oil-and-gas producer this year—if it hasn't already overtaken Russia. In July, America produced around 22 million barrels a day of oil, natural gas and related fuels, the Wall Street Journal reports, compared to Moscow's 2013 forecast of around 21.8 barrels a day. Last year, the US tapped more natural gas than Russia for the first time in 30 years, and the gap in crude oil production is quickly narrowing.

American imports of natural gas and crude oil have fallen 32% and 15% since 2008 and are still dropping—but experts warn that the energy boom and the US lead in production may not last that much longer. Russia still has huge untapped shale reserves, and the US boom could be hit hard by swings in commodity prices, government regulation, and rising public opposition to fracking. Drilling in shale is a lot more expensive than other kinds of exploration, meaning a global downturn and a fall in energy prices could dramatically slow production.

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Oct 8, 2013 8:49 PM CDT
Still better to be energy self reliant if you can. We can't stop the rise in development of electric cars. We must push on or else fail the same way we did in the 80's. If you think insane women driving their cars into the White House fence and men setting themselves on fire is bad now, wait about a year and see how bad things are when the bottom really hits.
Oct 5, 2013 9:59 AM CDT
Too bad these resources, belonging to the people of the United States, are sold on the world market leading to absolutely no benefit in lower prices. Screwed again.
Oct 3, 2013 11:07 PM CDT
I'm both happy and sad at the same time. Happy because it is good for the economy not to send so much money to other countries, especially the Middle East to import energy. But sad because it means the burning of yet more fossil fuels destroying our planet all that much sooner. Let's see what hurricane season brings this year. I had to suffer through hurricane Sandy last year about this time. Never want to see that again. But I'm not betting against it.