Booming oil production throughout the country has boosted employment, profits and taxes and moved the country closer toward energy independence.
It also could lead to global infrastructure and geopolitical changes.
The International Energy Agency said this month that oil production from non-OPEC countries likely will outpace global demand next year in a move that should “give bulls some cause for alarm.”
“While demand growth is also forecast to pick up momentum,” this “will still fall short of forecast non-OPEC supply growth,” IEA said in its July Oil Market Report.
The report forecast that world oil consumption will increase by 1.2 million barrels a day to 92 million barrels a day next year while supplies from countries outside of the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries will add 1.3 million barrels a day to 55.9 million barrels a day.
Such an imbalance could drive oil prices lower.
Thursday, however, the U.S. Energy Information Administration painted a stronger picture for global demand, at least in the long term.
The agency projected world energy consumption to increase 56 percent by 2040, fueling continued demand for domestic energy for decades to come.
The forecast depicts renewables and nuclear power as the world's fastest-growing energy sources, but shows fossil fuels continuing to supply almost 80 percent of world energy use though 2040.
Industry leaders and politicians have touted increased domestic production as a way to reduce the country's dependence on Middle Eastern oil and minimize the way instability in the Middle East can affect the American and global economies.
The current instability in Egypt already has helped push the price of oil about $10 higher over the past two weeks. Decreased reliance on Middle Eastern oil could help offset price spikes and minimize the risk of fuel shortages in the event if a wider war in the Middle East.
But increased domestic production also could lead to global changes, especially for Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members if the cartel loses the ability to set global oil prices.
Longtime energy independence advocate Harold Hamm welcomes the changes.
“Without a doubt, the Saudis have so much money from oil that they have a bloated economy as a result of that. They may have to come to grips with that,” said Hamm, CEO of Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources Inc. “They may be forced to join the rest of the world. That certainly wouldn't be the worst thing for us.”
Hamm said OPEC likely will continue to have a market for its oil as China, India and other growing economies up their imports. In that case, he said, those countries should take over patrolling the Persian Gulf and ensuring oil deliveries.
“We've been supporting them far too long. Other countries are going to have to pay for that, primarily China and India,” Hamm said. “They can deal with some of the Mid East issues and security for those countries instead of America. We won't have to have our boys over there on the front lines anymore.”