After 2009, the collapse of natural gas prices led to the switch by forward-looking exploration and production firms toward oil exploration in order to remain profitable. Some energy firms were pioneers in these efforts. The oily Bakken and Eagle Ford Shales launched into full swing. Then came the analysis of the Permian Basin in West Texas. Now, another shale mega-basin has the potential to change the game again, at a time when the U.S. economy is still mending.
The new drilling in the Permian is yet another chapter in the continuing American shale oil saga. While this is not an extensive or exhaustive reporting, it does provide an overview of the key early developments, current impacts, and contours of the oil boom underway in the U.S. The U.S.'s increasing production has the potential to change the geopolitics of oil in new and unexpected ways.
The shale oil surge has arrived just in time, when economic recovery from recession and supply disruptions could have levied a heavier toll. This U.S. oil production renewal happened across a decade-long timeframe as a series of events unfolded and the industry responded. The right conditions —of economics, technology, and business ingenuity—converged at the right time. The presence of U.S. oil has made a difference on many fronts.
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