There is much talk and hope that all this shale oil and gas will get the US freed of dependance on OPEC oil. The Bakken, Eagle Ford, Utica and more have great oil potential. The Marcellus, Utica, Hainesville, Barnett and more have great gas potential, especially if we convert major portion of our transportation to natgas. All of these should help us wean ourselves off of foreign oil and gas, which would fantastic for the country.
But one problem with that scenario is competitive cost of production. What is the cost of getting the oil out of the ground? What quality is it? And what would be the final cost of refined products at the consumer/retail level?
Some OPEC countries can get oil out of the ground for as little as $8/barrel. And with the supertanker bridge, the cost of transporting that oil to the US cannot be very high. So they have a huge price advantage that they may be able to exploit.
So the question is as this domestic production ramps up, what will be the response of the world markets? Will crude drop to a point that it is no longer viable to do deep, horizontal drilling combined with fracking? Would OPEC drop the price to say $25/barrel to stay competitive? Or even lower?
While the reduced price of crude would be a good thing for the country, would it cause the O&Gs to stop develop in our area? All of this may have a dramatic impact on all of us in the five to ten years.