The U.S. seems to be moving toward true energy independence. As the hydraulic and fracturing revolution has spread, the sheer amount of now-accessible energy is staggering. Supplies of shale oil and natural gas continue to climb as more E&P firms use advanced drilling techniques. The fracking revolution has completely changed the supply-and-demand dynamics in U.S.
According to OPEC, China could overtake the U.S. as the world’s top oil importer by 2014, as the shale boom continues to drastically reduce America’s energy import needs. This shift would end about 40 years of the U.S. being the most oil-thirsty nation, which began when domestic production started to decline in the 1970s.
In fact, the shift is already moving rapidly: The U.S. produced 84% of its own energy last year and is estimated to be the largest global oil producer by 2020. Net oil exports from the U.S. are expected shortly after. Meanwhile, China’s thirst for oil rose about 8% last year and is already on track to surpass that amount this year.
The shift is an interesting turn of events in the energy sector — one that could lead to some hefty profits for certain firms. Here are four great picks to capitalize on China’s thirst: