WASHINGTON, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - Despite the energy revolution in natural gas and increasing energy independence, the United States security and prosperity depends on it staying engaged in the energy affairs of the international community, former US ambassador to Mexico and Ukraine, and scholar of global energy policy at Columbia University, Carlos Pascual said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the World Energy Engineering Congress conference on Wednesday, Pascual noted that one of the questions he was asked when he was working at the State Department until 2011, was "as a result of the profound change in American energy production, is the United States still engaged?" He argued, "We do care more than ever, if we care about American national security, about national prosperity, and the environment."
According to Pascual, because of the global interdependence between national economies and energy markets, the US has to remain engaged. "China is likely to be the demand pull-factor that sets global prices," he said. "We suddenly have to care whether China can meet its demand for oil because it affects the price of oil, it affects our economic growth in the United States," he added.
In the Middle East, a decrease in energy exports due to the projected increase in oil consumption to fulfill the region's energy and desalination needs could be "devastating" to the US and global markets, according to Pascual. " By 2020 there will be a reduction of exports out of the Middle East of oil. It will have a devastating impact on our own revenue. It will have a devastating impact on the international markets," Pascual said.
In less than a decade, the United States has decreased oil imports from over 60 percent in 2005 to about 30 percent projected for 2014. In natural gas, which accounts for almost a third of US energy, it is projected that it will become a net exporter by 2020. In the coming 15 years, the increase in US LNG on global markets is likely to have global impacts, generally reducing costs for gas importers, while reducing revenues for exporters.