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Increased domestic oil production could lead to global changes

Booming oil production throughout the country has boosted employment, profits and taxes and has moved the country closer toward energy independence. It also could lead to global infrastructure and geopolitical changes.
by Adam Wilmoth Modified: July 26, 2013 at 10:00 am •  Published: July 25, 2013

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.”

by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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