The US is undergoing a shale-energy revolution. That revolution apparently is difficult to export to other countries and places the US in a distinct advantage.
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Oil companies in other countries are having difficulty replicating the success in the US because of government ownership in other countries of mineral rights, environmental concerns, and the lack of infrastructure for drilling and transport.
This positions both the US and Canada as primary beneficiaries of the new energy boom for a good while.
For example, China is thought to have more shale oil and gas than the US but it is located in very arid or heavily populated areas. It takes a lot of water to hydraulically fracture the rock.
In Argentina, the assets of a Spanish company that discovered a huge shale oil deposit were nationalized, shutting down outside investment.
France and Bulgaria have banned hydraulic fracking because of environmental concerns. Global shale development will happen eventually but it will take longer than people originally thought.
The combination of mineral rights, the number of small players ready to enter the market, and the availability of geological data are coming together as part of an entrepreneurial model that is unique to the US.
As well, most of the underground gas is privately owned, countering any environmental concerns with landowners’ desire to profit.
These factors place the US far ahead of oil and gas development around the world, offering it the chance to once again become the global leader
in energy production.