The Economic Perspective: “The Amazing Story of US Oil”

I’m Mary Walden, with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.   Today’s program looks at the amazing story of US oil.  Mike, you and I – well maybe we’ll just say you (!) – are old enough to remember when the US oil industry was in tatters, and the US had to import most of its oil. Of course, oil is the source of fuel for many of our vehicles, for our homes in the winter, and for aircraft.  But now I understand our oil industry has made a complete 180 degree turn.  Please explain.


Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. This continues to be an amazing economic turnaround
  2. In the 1970s the US oil industry was written off as dead – and we were very worried about our dependence on foreign oil
  3. But with new exploration techniques, US oil production is back, and in many months, is number 1 in the world
  4. New estimates just released suggest US oil production will increase 50% in the next five years due to further advances in oil recovery technology
  5. And in just 2 years the US is expected to be a net oil exporter, and in 5 years the US is forecasted to be the largest net oil exporter in the world
  6. Quite a change from 40 years ago
  7. I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.