U.S. Passes Russia on Oil and Gas
A Wall Street Journal analysis has found that the United States is about to overtake Russia as the world’s number one producer of oil and gas, if it hasn’t already. U.S. production has surged over the last seven years with the introduction of fracking technology for both oil and gas. Meanwhile, Russia’s production has gone flat and declined a little bit. Even so, Russia is believed to have huge reserves of shale oil and gas that it has not yet figured out how to tap. Both countries produce less oil than Saudi Arabia but more gas.
According to the Journal, “U.S. imports of natural gas and crude oil have fallen 32% and 15%, respectively, in the past five years, narrowing the U.S. trade deficit. And since the U.S. is such a big consumer of energy, the shift to producing more of its own oil and gas has left substantial fuel supplies available for other buyers.” The main victim of increasing U.S. exports is believed to be Russia itself. The Russian Academy of Sciences' Energy Research Institute predicts that Russian exports could fall as much as 25 to 30 percent by 2015, reducing GDP by $100 billion. More than 40% of Russia's budget comes from oil-and-gas related duties and taxes.