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Peak Oil? Not According to This Chart

It’s Friday in the Wall Street Daily Nation. And that means we’re ditching our regular routine of commentary-based articles and instead using charts to present some important investment and economic insights.

This week we’re tackling the pesky little debate about Peak Oil and America’s overreliance on oil imports.

Near the height of the energy crisis in 2008, the Republicans popularized the slogan, “Drill, baby, drill!” But they should have been chanting, “Frac, baby, frac!”

Why? Because the largest gains in domestic oil production are coming from hydraulic fracturing. And this is most evident in North Dakota and Montana, which are home to the Bakken Shale.

A 2008 study by the U.S. Geological Survey estimates there’s as much as 4.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the formation. And North Dakota’s not wasting any time tapping it.

In September, North Dakota pumped a record 464,129 barrels a day – a 439% increase from a decade ago and right on par with Ecuador’s production. The gushing isn’t done yet, though.

Within five years, Rick Mueller, of ESAI Energy LLC, predicts that North Dakota could be producing anywhere from 700,000 barrels to one million barrels a day.

Doesn’t sound like a Peak Oil situation to me. Does it to you?

Another Startling Oil Chart

If we couple the increased domestic production with decreased domestic consumption, guess what? The United States is actually now a net exporter of oil. For the first time since the 1940s.

Since the middle of this year, net energy exports jumped into positive territory.

Energy independence, here we come! Well, not exactly. But it’s definitely progress.

That’s all for this week. But before you sign off, do me a favor.

Let me know what you think about this column or any of our work at Wall Street Daily. All you have to do is send an email to feedback@wallstreetdaily.com or post a comment on our website.

Thanks and enjoy the weekend!

Ahead of the tape,

Louise Basenese