This article was published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 16th, 2013:
The advances in drilling and fracking technology coupled with the enormous untapped shale oil reserves are keeping the oil industry’s reporting agencies hopping, just trying to keep up with the gains in oil and natural gas production. For instance, the increase in US oil production in September was an amazing 25 percent over September last year. Using the Rule of 72, that means that, if it continues, oil production in the United States will double – double – every three years.
The hard data from the Energy Information Agency is that US oil production averaged 7.8 million barrels of oil every day during September, the highest monthly output since May 1989, more than 24 years ago. Doing the math, that means output will hit 10 million bpd by 2015, if not sooner.
In Texas alone, the numbers are even more astounding. Over the last two years, the inflation-adjusted value of Texas oil has more than doubled, from $3.9 billion per month in July 2011 to $8.5 billion this past July.
It gets even better. Over the last decade, Texas oil production has increased by a factor of nine – from just over $1 billion per month in early 2003 to a projected value of more than $9 billion per month by the end of this year.
This is having an enormous impact on our need for imported oil. As economist Mark Perry noted, “the nation’s reliance on foreign sources of petroleum products has fallen this year, through August, to the lowest level in more than a quarter of a century.”
The implications of such a change can hardly be underestimated. One of the primary foundation stones for US foreign policy and its resulting interventions in the Middle East has been the need to “protect our oil” and “keep open the shipping lanes upon which the world depends.” It has been the basis for all sorts of mischief over the years. As America’s need for foreign oil diminishes, however, that argument rings hollow and will make continuing interventions more difficult to sell to the American public.
What’s coming has the potential to dwarf the current explosion in production. Estimates of the Permian Basin in Texas far exceed what’s currently being developed in North Dakota (Bakken) and Texas (Eagle Shale). As Perry notes:
New discoveries in the Permian could make it the world’s largest oil field. The numbers coming in from the industry are remarkable. According to early estimates, the Cline could contain 30 billion barrels of recoverable oil. (Emphasis added.)
Meanwhile, the nearby Wolfcamp and Spraberry plays could contain 50 billion recoverable barrels. For comparison, the Eagle Ford and the Bakken hold [just] 10 billion and 4.3 billion recoverable barrels respectively.
All this is turning Midland, Texas into the country’s second wealthiest town. The metro area’s per capita (that is to say, per person) income in 2011 (the latest data, which is two years out of date) was $65,100. This puts Midland ahead of San Francisco (third wealthiest) and New York City (eighth).
Josh Fox and his friends have other ideas. Fox, with the help of environmentalist radicals like Debra Winger, Pete Seeger, Mark Jacobson, George Soros, Robert Redford, and HBO, has produced four “documentaries” on the dangers of fracking: Gasland, Gasland II, The Promised Land, and The Sky is Pink. Each is so filled with misstatements, half-truths, and just plain damned lies that Fox’s credibility is beginning, thankfully, to suffer. He is being turned out as just another “useful idiot” in the decades-long effort by the environmentalists to shut down America.
Think that last statement too harsh? Here is what Professor Ugo Bardi of the University of Florence (Italy) said at last week’s World Resources Forum in Davos, Switzerland. This quote is taken from the website of the Club of Rome, the center of the constellation of the green movement:
We are facing today an unprecedented global challenge: that of the overexploitation of the world’s resources. Not only are most natural resources being exploited faster than they can reform, but we are saturating the capability of the atmosphere to absorb the products of the combustion of fossil fuels, with the result of potentially catastrophic climate change.
[The solution] means slowing down the exploitation rate….
[We must] operate in a concerted effort to slow down and eventually stop the deadly economic growth machine….
No emphasis is too strong here: the greens want to stop the deadly economic growth machine. Stopping fracking is just one part of the agenda. Remember that gazillionaire George Soros – you know, the man with the messiah complex, come to save the world from its sins – has off-loaded more than $5 billion of his estimated $13 billion in personal wealth onto the Open Society Foundation, which is tasked with funding more than 400 environmentalist and other left-leaning groups to achieve his dream of a perfect world. Part of that money found its way, interestingly, into the pockets of the Sundance Film Festival – named for Robert Redford, the Sundance Kid – to help promote films like Josh Fox’s Gasland.
While Fox is just a tool, a foil, a useful idiot, with shrinking credibility as more and more of his lies are being exposed, the movement behind him is exceedingly dangerous and not nearly as well-recognized or understood. If they are successful, life in America will return to the 16th century, and the anti-frackers will be recognized for what they really are: anti-civilization.
Economist Mark Perry at the American Enterprise Institute: Energy fact of the day: US oil output in September was the highest since May 1989, largest 12-month increase since 1953
The New American: U.S. Oil Output to Double Every Three Years, Unless “They” Get Their Way
Amazon books: Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire