United States Surpasses Russia, Saudi Arabia as Largest Holder of Oil in the World

The United States now has the largest recoverable oil reserves in the world, beating out both Russia and Saudi Arabia, according to a study conducted by a Norway-based independent oil and gas data firm.

What’s more, the study notes one key factor in this sudden and unprecedented American ascent into the top spot of oil producers: shale oil.

Rystad Energy, which combed through massive amounts of data to reach its conclusion, noted that Texas alone holds more than 60 billion barrels of shale oil.

The study comes as yet another piece of mounting evidence pointing to the benefits of shale oil drilling – also known as hydraulic fracturing, or simply “fracking.”

Opponents of the drilling technique, who supported the call from failed Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for an outright ban on the practice, will surely ignore this new report. Anti-fracking groups in the past have similarly ignored even the Environmental Protection Agency’s classification of hydraulic fracturing as “playing a key role in our nation’s clean energy future.”

Nevertheless, even presumed Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has appeared to shrug off the wild and unsubstantiated calls from her constituents for a ban on fracking. Clinton’s own special envoy for international energy affairs launched the Global Shale Initiative, which encourages other countries to explore shale as a reliable and clean energy source.

So what is the reasoning behind her unique pivot away from Democratic Party rallying points? A likely factor is Clinton’s experience serving as Secretary of State. Given the United States’ ongoing reliance on foreign sources of energy, particularly from shaky allies such as Saudi Arabia, the need to disentangle from such an uncertain region is only too evident. Fracking has given the United States the reserves to be independent of such entanglements.

Evan Smith is a Staff Writer for Opportunity Lives. You can follow him on Twitter @Evansmithreport.