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PacNet #44 – Will the “Oil and Gas Revolution” Pass China by?

The United States is undergoing a historic energy transformation. The heightened vulnerability that began in 1973 is giving way to a period of significantly less risk. The immediate cause of this transformation is improvement in petroleum and natural gas extraction methods, especially the use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques. Given the technological basis of this change, many wonder if a US-style oil and gas revolution can be transferred, either purposefully or surreptitiously, to China. If this revolution were to reach China, both its energy insecurity and its global greenhouse gases emissions would be significantly reduced. However, even if China acquired the US technology, it is unlikely that this revolution can be replicated.