U.S. Headed for Domestic Oil Only? [AUDIO]
Complete oil independence doesn't seem too far-fetched for the United States, which saw its crude oil imports fall by 9 percent in 2013, according to the Census Bureau.
Experts have credited new drilling techniques, such as fracking, for launching the nation on this probable upswing of domestic dependence.
The Census Bureau reported 2.8 billion imported barrels of crude oil last year, down from more than 3 billion in 2012 and representing a 17 percent drop since 2010.
"It's been decades since the U.S. has seen this level of domestic crude oil," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com. "We're looking at explosive output in this country, and it's certainly continuing to help reduce our need, our reliance, on Middle Eastern and foreign crude."
DeHaan estimated the U.S. and Canada are providing close to two-thirds of the oil this country currently relies on.
The trend is great news for the nation's economy overall.
"It's certainly keeping more money in the U.S.," DeHaan explained. "Instead of buying foreign crude and having that go to oil companies or governments of other countries, it's staying here in the U.S., and it's supporting jobs here domestically."
He noted, though, America's drop in reliance on foreign sources won't have much of an impact on gas prices. They're subject to global markets, and while the country's abundant supply puts downward pressure on prices, rising demand from other countries is having the opposite effect.