ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Ryan Lance has caused a stir by warning an audience including OPEC oil ministers that North America could become self-sufficient in oil by the middle of the next decade, ending the region’s dependence on imports.
“In 1990, North American reserves and production were falling, but thanks to unconventionals proved reserves have risen 68% since then,” Lance told an audience of OPEC ministers on Wednesday.
“North America could become self sufficient in oil as well (as gas) by 2025,” he said at a conference before OPEC’s policy-setting meeting in Vienna.
Lance probably overstated the potential for regional self-sufficiency. The most comprehensive estimates put potential North American production at no more than 15-18 million barrels per day by 2035, up from 11.4 million in 2011 but still somewhat short of the 21 million barrels per day that the United States and Canada consumed last year.
But now you know why OPEC is going to continue pumping oil in hopes more US companies won't be able to hang on and survive. Then those mooches will buy up the sites and equipment for a song and charge Americans for their own oil and gas.