It's official. According to the International Energy Agency
(IEA), the United States could be the world's largest oil producing
country in the next seven years.
Based on the report, the United States could surpass all other
countries in oil production by 2020. And 10 years later, the
country could be energy-independent.
Talk about your 180-degree turnarounds.
For the past several decades, the United States has depended
heavily on imports to feed its 19-million-barrel-per-day oil habit.
In fact, about one out of every five barrels the United States
consumes each day comes from a foreign country.
But if this forecast is accurate, then the United States
production could eventually outpace domestic consumption. So
instead of bringing in oil, we could be shipping it out.
Is this plausible? You bet it is.
In fact, the whole scenario sounds eerily similar to what has
happened in the natural gasmarket . A decade ago, every credible
analyst was convinced that the United States was running out of
gas, and energy companies spent billions to construct import
Now, the United States has more than it can use, and those
import facilities are being converted to export hubs to send gas
the other direction.
The start of this amazing reversal may have already begun.
Between 2008 and 2011, crude output in the United States climbed to
5.8 million barrels per day from 5.1 million, an increase of 14%.
That's an extra 700,000 barrels of oil coming to the surface
The credit goes to unconventional reservoirs like North Dakota's
Bakken Shale, where oil production has surged to more than 300,000
barrels per day now from around 3,000 barrels per day in 2000. And
that's just onespot -- there are billions of barrels waiting to be
recovered in shale formations across the United States.
And that's not even counting offshore drilling in the Atlantic
Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.
The powerful combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic
fracturing has given producers easy access to oil that was once
thought of as unreachable. And these new supplies could quickly
wean the United States off of foreign oil.
So if this IEA outlook is accurate, then what is the takeaway
Well, the collapse in natural gas prices resulted from a supply
glut. I don't think therewill be a repeat with crude oil, but the
influx of shale oil could certainlyput downward pressure on prices
or at least limit some of the upside.
But when you look past the upstream producers, there are entire
sectors that could see unprecedented demand for their products and
services thanks to North America's oil boom.
In fact, it may be one of the best ways to makemoney in the
stock market in the next decade.
More oil exploration means increased demand for offshore and
land-based drillers. It also means more work for pressure pumping
and hydraulic fracturing crews.
That's one reason I'm keeping a close eye on
Patterson-UTI Energy (Nasdaq: PTEN)
, an underpriced provider of drilling- and hydraulic-fracturing
services, right now. The company is going through a lull, but it's
temporary -- you can't produce more oil without digging new
Patterson will be ready to meet the challenge. The company has
upgraded its fleet with 107 new advanced rigs during the past five
years. These premium models boast more horsepower, higher-capacity
pumps and all sorts of other bells and whistles. They are just what
you need when working in deep, technically-challenging shale plays.
Action to Take -->
I think the stock could deliver a 50% gain within the next two
But more important, this new energy boom will have
majorinvesting implications for years to come... and now is the
time to act, before the big money is made.
Right now, because of a bizarre event at the end of 2013, we could
be headed for a major supply shortage in a precious mineral used
every day. Almost nobody is talking about it, but 31 million
Americans could be affected. There is no reason to be fearful, but
there could be an opportunity for huge profits.
Click here to view my presentation on the looming
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