"The invisible hand steadying global energy markets is the growing
influence of modern technologies. So a case can be made for a relatively
stable crude-price window—$80 to $120 a barrel for the next several
The growing influence of modern technologies is evident everywhere. Net
daily U.S. imports of petroleum have dropped by 50% to eight million
barrels over the last five years. Imports are likely to shrink further
in the coming decade due to an upsurge in domestic oil and gas supplies (see chart above).
Fracking and horizontal wells have given the U.S. an unmistakable
geopolitical advantage while moderating the market swings. Both
presidential candidates have a chance to accelerate U.S. energy
independence. Ambiguity, policy vacillation and an overreach on
uneconomical options (ethanol, wind) act as suppressants. But technology
and market forces trump politics. The march is on."
The chart above shows monthly U.S. oil production
starting in January 1998, and going through February 2012, when production reached 6,144,000 barrels per day. That was the highest monthly output of domestic crude oil in almost 14 years, going back to August 1998. New energy and geophysical technologies like 3D-seismic imaging
, fracking and horizontal drilling have opened up huge reserves of previously unrecoverable oil and gas in the United States, and that's the main reason that crude oil production is close to a 14-year high. And it's one reason that "oil prices will keep falling," or will at least remain relatively stable.
Related from CBS News
: North Dakota could double its oil production by 2015 to more than 1
million barrels daily, putting it on par with Texas "if everything goes
our way," according to the state's top oil regulator Lynn Helms. Billionaire Oklahoma oilman Harold Hamm said that Helms' prediction was probably accurate, if not a little low.
been saying for two years that North Dakota could be at 1.2 million
barrels a day by 2015," said Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources Inc.