Fracking in shale deposits has made the U.S. the world’s leader in natural gas production and helped lower the cost of gas and energy prices for Americans, while prices in Asia and the European Union have risen.
In a report accompanying its world economic outlook, the International Monetary Fund laid out the global implications of the U.S. shale boom. In 2000, shale gas accounted for merely 1% of U.S. natural gas production. Today, shale gas production now accounts for about half of the total U.S. natural gas production, according to the IMF.
And it’s already decreased U.S. imports of fossil fuels from $412 billion (2.8% of GDP) in 2008 to $225 billion (1.3% of GDP) in 2013.
“The shale gas boom has drastically reduced U.S. liquefied natural gas imports from Africa, the Middle East and Trinidad and Tobago,” the report reads, “and has also substantially reduced natural gas imports from Canada.”
Despite the disparity in who has benefited from the U.S. shale revolution, it has been able to help stabilize international energy prices. With the disruptions seen in the geopolitical landscape, the increase in shale gas production has helped offset shortages, keeping prices lower than they would have been otherwise.
The IMF reports that the shale revolution has given the U.S. an advantage in the natural gas arena, allowing it to be more competitive in nonenergy products.