There are maximum five years to go. Not more. This is how much time OPEC gives to the American shale energy revolution. The strategy of energy security developed in the US with the beginning of Barack Obama's presidential term envisages cutting oil imports by a third over the next ten years as well as increasing domestic extraction of hydrocarbons. The beginning has been successful. Last November the production of oil in the USA exceeded its import for the first time in 20 years. But soon fortune can fail, says the OPEC. The forecasts have some basis behind them. The cartel's research has revealed that the volume of production is already going down at many of the shale oil deposits in the US. At some facilities the drop in production is quite sharp – by over 50%. OPEC admits that non-traditional sources will additionally give the USA up to 5 million barrels per day. But already in 2018 only illusions will be left of that effect, points out Alexander Razuvayev, director of the analytical department of Alpari company:
Unlike the traditional production method, the production at a shale oil well is fairly short-term. In other words, they would reach maximum production volume and then there would be a landslide drop in the production volume. They wanted to decrease their dependence on the oil supplies from the Middle East in the short term. They succeed in that. They have tested their technologies. It turned out that they are not that profitable».
In addition, the consequences for the environment have not been fully studied. American environmentalists are worried. They warn: drilling rock would lead to the pollution of drinking water sources. In addition the threat of earthquakes in the seismically active areas of the US goes up. Upcoming is a wave of lawsuits against the companies engaged in the extraction of shale oil and gas. Here is the commentary of Sergey Pravosudov, director of the Institute for National Energetics:
There are local residents who claim that they already observe the pollution of ground water, loss of cattle and so forth. They demonstrate photographs and video. There is some scientific research that reveals the elevated levels of air pollution as a lot of gas escapes into the atmosphere. The companies deny everything, say that they aren't to blame, that it is some other factors but not they. They pay compensation to the farmers so they wave their claims».
The International Energy Agency has also recently warned of the upcoming end of the energy sector revolution. The IEA has calculated that in seven years the shale energy boom in the US will go down.