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The nat­ural gas mar­ket has been trans­formed by the rapid expan­sion of shale gas pro­duc­tion. A dozen years ago, shale gas amounted to only about 2 per­cent of United States pro­duc­tion. Today, it is 37 per­cent and ris­ing. Nat­ural gas is in such ample sup­ply that its price has tanked. This unan­tic­i­pated abun­dance has ignited a new polit­i­cal argu­ment about liq­ue­fied nat­ural gas — not about how much the United States will import but rather how much it should export.

The oil story is also being rewrit­ten. Net petro­leum imports have fallen from 60 per­cent of total con­sump­tion in 2005 to 42 per­cent today. Part of the rea­son is on the demand side. The improv­ing gaso­line effi­ciency of cars will even­tu­ally reduce oil demand by at least a cou­ple of mil­lion bar­rels per day. The other part is the sup­ply side — the turn­around in United States oil pro­duc­tion, which has risen 25 per­cent since 2008. It could increase by 600,000 bar­rels per day this year. The biggest part of the increase is com­ing from what has become the “new thing” in energy — tight oil. That is the term for oil pro­duced from tight rock for­ma­tions with the same tech­nol­ogy used to pro­duce shale gas.

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