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Why More U.S. Oil May Not Mean Cheaper U.S. Gas

Oil skeptics like to point out that the U.S. consumes 20 percent of the world’s oil but owns only 2 percent of global reserves. Such lopsided numbers, they insist, destine the U.S. to depend on foreign crude -- unless it slashes its consumption and embraces alternatives. Lately, though, a surge in U.S. oil production appears to have turned the tables.

In an interview with Bloomberg News early last year, Adam Sieminski, an analyst who would soon leave Deutsche Bank AG to join the White House staff, captured the mood: “For 40 years, only politicians and the occasional author in Popular Mechanics magazine talked about achieving energy independence. Now it doesn’t seem such an outlandish idea.”