Boosted by massive oil and gas production from the Eagle Ford shale oil play southeast of San Antonio, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that the U.S. is overtaking Russia and Saudi Arabia and will become the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas in 2013, 1200 WOAI news reports.
The average production in the U.S. is the equivalent of about 22 million barrels of oil natural gas and related fuels. That compares to Russia's daily production of about 21.8 million barrels per day.
"This is a remarkable turn of events," said Adam Sieminski, head of the USEIA.
The figures also mean the U.S. has cut its imports of natural gas and crude oil by 32% and 15% respectively over the past five years.
Natalie Joubert, an analyst with the Consumer Energy Alliance, tells 1200 WOAI news this has major implications for U.S. foreign and domestic policy.
"OPEC is waking up and realizing that the shale oil revolution that is occurring in North America has a huge impact on their bottom line," she said.
Joubert and other analysts say the big winners in this remarkable and completely unpredicted turn of event in oil and gas are clearly the United States and its allies, and the big losers are Russia and radical OPEC leaders who are losing their stranglehold over the U.S. economy.
"Less oil from OPEC, today it is about 18% of our supply, while thirty and forty years ago, we were relying on thirty to forty percent of our oil from the Middle East.," Joubert said.
The U.S. is already a net exporter of natural gas, and the natural gas boom from the Eagle Ford, where proven reserves of natural gas are listed at 2.5 trillion cubic feet, has sparked a return of manufacturing, and the high paying jobs it represents, to the United States.
Oil and natural gas production in the Untied States jumped in 2012 by the largest margin in history.
Joubert says for the consumer, this will lead not so much to lower gas prices as to more stable prices, and prices which don't spike every time a Middle Eastern dictator opens his mouth. Foreign policy experts had long speculated that many of the belligerent comments about Israel made by Iranian officials were made specifically to cause oil prices to spike.
Horizontal fracking involves far higher costs than traditional drilling, so analysts say they don't expect oil prices to fall below $70 a barrel, at which point horizontal fracking would no longer be cost effective. They also point out that even with producing moving to the U.S., oil remains a commodity and susceptible to the whims of commodity pricing.
The CEA says the U.S., in conjunction with Canada and Mexico, is also on course to potentially be completely energy independent by the end of this decade and maybe sooner. She says increased production is one, but not the only reason for that development.
"Demand has gone down, and that is due to more efficient vehicles, and consumers are more aware of the factors they can utilize to decrease their energy usage," she said.