A US government report expects that the United States will become self-sufficient in oil production by the year 2037. This means that oil imports are expected to fall to zero as a result of increases in the local production of domestic crude supplies, including in North Dakota's Bakken field and Texas's Eagle Ford formation.
The report, which was prepared by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US Energy Department, predicts that the US oil supply will meet local demand in 23 years.
"This is the first time that a case in the Annual Energy Outlook has projected that net imports' share of liquid fuels consumption could reach zero," said John Krohn, a spokesperson for the EIA, according to Al-Jazeera network.
Long-term estimates of oil production constitute a tricky issue, wherein analysts need to take into account a number of factors, including the exact size of the existing reserves at a depth of thousands of feet underground as well as rapid developments in the techniques of oil extraction, not to mention the fluctuating global price of oil.
Recently, the department also predicted that this year the US would reach its highest level of oil production in 43 years, due to an increase in the production of shale oil to 9.3 million barrels per day.
However, it is important to note that the process to extract shale oil, known as fracking, is also quite controversial, because it requires massive amounts of water to be transported to the wells and releases carcinogenic chemicals into the environment. Furthermore, some argue that the wells dry up more quickly than is currently estimated.
At the end of 2013, statistics suggested that US oil production in October 2013 exceeded monthly oil imports for the first time since 1995.
Source: pls48.net/ Agencies