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America – On the Path to Energy Independence?

That’s what strategists at Merrill Lynch are saying:

“America remains on path toward energy self-sufficiency…Thanks to technological advances in the extraction of natural gas and petroleum out of shale rock, America’s domestic energy production has increased dramatically in recent years. In turn, this surge in domestic energy output has rapidly reduced the need to import energy from abroad. As a result, America’s natural gas import bill has dropped sharply. Given that the market expected the US to become a very large LNG importer by 2012, this is a very significant shift. True, America is still spending more on foreign oil today than it did five years ago due to the large increase in oil prices. But it may not be for long, as oil import volumes are falling rapidly across the board.

…and resources in the ground can support ongoing growth.  The US always had vast oil, natural gas, and thermal coal resources in the ground, but for the past 60 years, such reserves were not large enough
to support self-sufficiency in the world’s largest economy. The US became a net importer of crude oil and products in 1944 and 1949, respectively, and oil net imports rose rapidly in the decades that followed on the proliferation of the car fleet and, with it, oil consumption. More recently, the true structural shift has come from the supply side, with the addition of non-conventional oil and gas resources to a large conventional fossil fuel resource base. In fact, on the shale gas front, America compares very well to other countries around the world, even without adjusting for the fact that bordering countries Mexico and Canada also hold vast amounts of conventional and non-conventional fossil fuel resources.”

I’m no energy expert so I’ll let you guys fight this one out in the comments….

Source: Bank of America

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