Oil Imports From OPEC Reach 30 Year Low Thanks to Fracking

Oil imports from OPEC countries have reached their lowest level in 30 years, but it’s not because of wind and solar. It’s because of American oil producers ramping up production using a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.

As you can see, oil imports from OPEC nations like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela have declined precipitously since 2008, when the revolution in oil and natural gas production began to find its stride. Since that time, the United States has become the largest producer of both oil and natural gas in the world.

OPEC’s declining importance to America’s energy supply is one reason why the explosion of a Japanese oil tanker in the Straits of Hormuz have had only mild impacts on the price of oil. If this had happened in 2007, when America’s reliance on OPEC oil was near its peak, the response would have been far more dramatic.

Renewable energy advocates often talk about wind and solar as if there will cause some dramatic revolution in how our energy is produced, but this chatter is largely hyperbole. When we think about the energy landscape of the early 21st century, it will be oil and natural gas produced by fracking which will be considered to be the energy revolution of our time, not wind or solar.

And no, we’re not running out of oil or natural gas anytime soon.