The global economy would be in serious trouble if it weren’t for the rapid growth of U.S. shale oil production. Since the 2008 financial crisis, U.S. shale oil production has increased by more than 6 million barrels per day. Without these additional barrels of oil, the massive money printing and asset purchases by the central banks would not have been as successful in propping up the economy and markets.
We must remember this simple fact; energy drives the markets, not finance. Finance steers the market. So, for the economy to expand, there must be oil production growth. However, it would be unwise for the market-economy to rely upon the U.S. shale industry as the leading driver of global oil production growth for the foreseeable future.
Why? Well, there are several reasons, but let’s first look at how much the increase in U.S. shale oil production has accounted for the rise in global oil supply since 2008. Of the 9.6 million barrels per day (mbd) of global oil production growth 2008-2017, the United States supplied two-thirds or 6.3 mbd of the total:
Interestingly, global oil production minus the United States and Canada didn’t increase in 2009, 2010 or 2011. There was a small bump up in 2012 and finally by 2105-2017 did global oil production minus the U.S. and Canada increase by 1.7 mbd. Now, let me repeat that. If we add up ALL THE OTHER COUNTRIES in the world producing oil, the net increase from 2008 to 2017 was only 1.7 mbd. Thus, of the total 9.6 mbd of global oil production growth 2008-2017, the U.S. (6.3 mbd) and Canada (1.6 mbd) accounted for 82% of the total.
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