The extraction technologies are not new but the

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Unformatted text preview: p," said Michael O'Hanlon, a national security expert with the Brookings Institution, who says the U.S. spends $50 billion a year protecting oil shipments. But China, a growing consumer of Middle Eastern crude, is seeking a larger presence in the region, with its navy joining antipiracy efforts near Somalia. Still, growing domestic energy production could allow the U.S. to lessen its focus on the unpredictable region over time. Dependence on Middle East oil has shaped American foreign, national-security and defense policies for most of the last half century. It helped drive the U.S. into active participation in the search for Arab-Israeli peace; drove Washington into close alignments with the monarchies of the Persian Gulf states; compelled it to side with Iraq during its war with Iran; prompted it to then turn against Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait, bringing about the first Persian Gulf war; and prompted Washington to then build up and sustain its military presence in the region. Whatever the success such strategies had in ensuring American influence in the region, all also came at a price. Involvement in the Arab-Israeli peace process brought the U.S. the enmity of many of the region's most radical forces upset at the failure to create a Palestinian state. The decision to build up an American military presence in the region was used as a rationale for anti-American agitation and attacks by al Qaeda and other extremist forces. 247 Last printed 9/4/2009 7:00:00 PM Oil DDW 2012 1 Independence Now – Domestic Production 248 Oil DDW 2012 1 Huge new oil reserves are being developed domestically now Maugeri, Research Fellow, Geopolitics of Energy Project, 12 Leonardo Maugeri, Research Fellow, Geopolitics of Energy Project, 6-12, ["Global Oil Production is Surging: Implications for Prices, Geopolitics, and the Environment," Policy Brief, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, html?breadcrumb=%2Fpublication %2F18205%2Fgood_leaders_must_avoid_emperors_trap] There are enormous volumes of un-conventional oil under development in the United States. Thanks to the technological revolution brought about by the combined use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the United States is currently exploiting huge and virtually untouched shale and tight oil fields, and production – although still in its infancy – is skyrocketing in these North Dakota and Texas fields. The extraction technologies are not new, but the combination of technologies used to exploit shale and tight oils has evolved. The technology can also be used to reopen and recover more oil from conventional, established oilfields. Taking into consideration limitation in transportation infrastructure and refining capacity, and environmental barriers to development, the United States could still increase oil production by 3.5 million barrels per day and conceivably produce a total of 11.6 mbd of crude oil and natural gas liquids per year by 2020, making it the second lar...
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