For 40 years, the United States has sought to slash its reliance on Middle East oil, and now that goal looks attainable.
Oil analysts say rising domestic oil production and slumping demand will slice that dependence 50 percent by the end of the decade, The Wall Street Journal reports. And the need for imports from the Mideast might cease totally by 2035.
As for domestic supply, it’s rising quickly thanks to increased production of oil from shale-rock formations, oil sands, and areas far beneath the ocean floor.
Meanwhile, more efficient auto engines and an expansion of renewable energy supplies should continue to weigh on demand for oil.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that almost half the oil we use will come from domestic sources by 2020 and 82 percent will come from the Western hemisphere.
"Whereas at one point there were real and serious concerns about the ability to maintain sustainable access of supplies to the United States if there were disruptions in the Middle East, that has changed," Carlos Pascual, the top energy official at the State Department, tells The Journal.
Assuming the predictions are correct, a range of ramifications are possible. For example, many commentators in recent years have cited the possibility of conflict between the United States and China as they both seek dwindling global oil supplies.
But perhaps now there’s no need for such competition.
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