On the surge of onshore production and as the United States has become an exporter, the security risk to U.S. natural gas imports fell to zero, the first time a risk metric compiled annually by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute (GEI) reached such a score.
According to the 2018 edition of GEI's Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk released last Thursday, three additional risk metrics for petroleum imports, oil/gas import expenditures and oil/gas import expenditures per gross domestic product are also forecast to fall to zero before 2030. The report analyzed 37 risk metrics.
"It is hard to overestimate how profoundly the application of hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling, and advanced seismic imaging has so rapidly improved our energy security by unlocking vast quantities of 'unconventional' oil and natural energy -- which is getting more conventional by the day," said GEI CEO Karen Harbert.
The report shows the U.S. risk level was at its worst level in 2011, but energy security improved for the sixth consecutive year and neared a modern-day best in the latest report. GEI expects petroleum imports to hit the zero risk mark in 2018, followed by oil and gas import expenditures and oil and gas import expenditures per GDP in 2025.
GEI noted that one risk metric, crude oil prices, increased 22% in 2017, the only metric to increase at least 10% from the previous report.
The crude oil volatility risk score in 2018 “should be considerably less (about half) than the 2017 level. Such a drop in the risk score for this metric would be enough to propel the total U.S. risk score to its lowest level in our record."