Gas and oil production is booming from Canada to Argentina, and that shift away from the Middle East has the potential to change the United States' geopolitical calculations significantly, reports the Washington Post. Even the US has been able to boost its petroleum production by 1.7 million barrels per day since 2005. Since 2006, imports from OPEC nations have dropped by 1.8 million barrels per day, whereas imports from Canada, Brazil, and Colombia have risen by 700,000 barrels and now total 3.4 million barrels per day.
The US has gone from importing 60% of its liquid fuels to just 45%. And of those imports, the Americas account for more than half, while the six Persian Gulf states are down to 22%. Some of the changes are coming from new technologies—especially hydraulic fracturing—while peace in Colombia has finally made it safe for drilling. "There are new players and drivers in the world," says the CEO of one oil company in Patagonia. "There is a new geopolitical shift, and those countries that never provided oil and gas can now do so." (Read more oil stories.)