U.S. oil and gas production is evolving so rapidly — and demand is dropping so quickly — that in just five years the U.S. could no longer need to buy oil from any source but Canada, according to Citigroup's global head of commodities research.
Citigroup's Edward Morse, in a new report, projects a dramatic reshaping of the global energy industry, where the U.S., in a matter of years, becomes an exporter of energy, instead of one of the biggest importers.
The shift could sharply reduce the price of oil, and therefore limit the revenues of the producing nations of OPEC, as well as Russia and West Africa. Those nations face new challenges: Not only are the U.S. and Canada increasing output, but Iraq increasingly is realizing its potential as an oil producer, adding 600,000 barrels a day of production annually for the next several years.
"OPEC will find it challenging to survive another 60 years, let alone another decade," the report by Morse and other Citi analysts said. "But not all of the consequences are positive, for when it comes to the geopolitics of energy, the likely outcomes are asymmetric, with clear cut winner and losers."
The U.S. is a winner in many ways. Its super power status* could be prolonged because of this new growth in oil and shale gas production, made possible by "fracking" and other non-conventional drilling technologies.
And as long as I'm on the winning side, I really don't care about the equity of the outcome.
*I've always wanted my own superpower. Flying always seemed cool, but I think invisibility is more practical.