More Spending, More Freedom

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted March 13, 2012

With gas prices a never-ending headache for Americans, perhaps some relief is in sight.

The current national average of gasoline is $3.80 a gallon, up $.30 in a month. Until now, there was little reason to believe that prices wouldn’t continue to surge and without a solution to U.S. dependence on foreign oil, particularly Iran, the outlook seemed bleak.

But as pressure from the U.S., the European Union, and Israel continues to build on Iran to end its nuclear program, new oil discoveries ranging from Argentina to Angola have the potential to end debilitating U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Iran’s share of global oil production is expected to drop from 4.9 percent in 2010 to 4.5 percent in 2015.

Global gas giants Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS) are among the leaders in exploration projects with a reported 20 percent increase in global exploration spending to be seen this year.

Shell plans to boost spending by 35 percent to $5 billion with proposed offshore drilling projects in Angola, the North Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico, while Exxon’s 2012 outlook poses nine major global exploration projects spanning from Tanzania and Guyana to Ireland. 

Offshore drilling of untapped energy reserves is expected to induce a dramatic decrease in oil prices to $112 by the end of this year and down to less than $100 a barrel by 2015, compared to $125 today. 

With Iran out of the picture and a surplus of natural gas and crude oil to be extracted from American owned shale fields, the U.S. has the potential to become the largest energy producer in the world over the next ten years, a far cry from its days of heavy reliance on the Middle East.

Until next time,


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