With more Gulf oil production, energy independence possible - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

With more Gulf oil production, analyst says energy independence possible

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Almost three years have passed since the Deepwater Horizon exploded unleashing millions of gallons of polluting crude and paralyzing energy exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.

Recovery has been painfully slow, but steady.

This year energy analysts are predicting the first full year of oil production growth since the Macondo well blew.

"The Gulf has finally turned. It's turned in a big way," said Marshall Adkins, chief of energy research at Raymond James.

"Activity is coming back and we are finding a lot of deep water oil in the Gulf of Mexico. At at current oil prices of a $100 dollars plus for crude, these guys are making good money. We think supply is going to see surprising growth over the next two or three years out of the Gulf. That's a lot of jobs," added Adkins.

Great news for an energy capitol that's awash in good fortune.

Adkins says America's massive supply of affordable natural gas is generating enormous, sustainable profits for a Gulf Coast mainstay, the petrochemical industry.

"We have a six to one cost advantage over the rest of the world as our feed stock of natural gas here in the U.S. is way cheaper than the feed stock of oil around the rest of the world," Adkins explained.

And then there's the torrid pace of America's on-shore oil production which thanks to the bountiful "shale plays" continues to grow by an additional one million barrels every day.

"We have cut our imports in half over seven years," said Adkins.

When you combine this additional oil supply with America's constantly improving fuel economy the consequence, according to Adkins, is freedom.

"We are going to be oil energy independent in probably the next six or seven years," said Adkins.

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