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Energy revolution

The International Energy Agency (the other IEA) says that the US will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer by around 2020.

The IEA also expects the US to overtake Russia as the world’s biggest gas producer by 2015, and the reason is the technology that gives access to shale oil and gas by fracturing.  Although opponents raise concerns about minor earth tremors, these seem to be less than those caused by coal mining.

The world will have to adjust to two new realities. One is that there will be no energy shortage in the decades ahead and maybe beyond. The second is that the US and perhaps the West will no longer be dependent on supplies from politically unstable regions, or at the mercy of a price cartel that impacts upon supply.  These factors will have crucial geopolitical consequences, and could diminish the economic importance of Middle East and oil-rich countries, with consequences for their own economic and political stability.

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