The United States isn’t nearly as reliant on foreign oil as it used to be.
Imports of crude oil and other petroleum products are on pace to drop to 6 million barrels per day by 2014, according to new forecasts by the Energy Information Administration. That’s the lowest level since 1987. It’s also just half as much liquid fuel as the country was importing back in 2005, at 12.5 million barrels per day. It’s a massive shift.
So what’s responsible for the drop? For starters, the United States is producing more of its own crude. New drilling techniques such as hydraulic fracturing for shale have helped companies access “tight oil” in places like North Dakota and Texas. The EIA expects that to continue for the foreseeable future (though be wary of wild claims that the United States will soon surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production):