U.S. more energy secure because of shale, chamber says

HOUSTON — The United States became more energy secure in 2013 as the shale boom continued to pad domestic resources, according to an analysis by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber’s International Index of Energy Security Risk showed that the United States now ranks as the sixth-most-secure among the top 25 energy consumers worldwide, up one spot from a year earlier. Ranking ahead of the United States were Norway, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

Ukraine ranked last.

“Ukraine has consistently ranked last among the top 25 energy users,” the chamber said in a statement. “Ukraine must import virtually all forms of energy and is especially reliant on Russia for natural gas. Its economy is also very energy inefficient.”

Ukraine: Analysts warn of Russia-Ukraine tensions’ effect on prices

Norway took the top spot in the rankings because of its “strong natural resource base, which makes it a net exporter of fossil fuels,” the chamber said. “Norway is one of the world’s largest natural gas exporters and also exports oil and coal.”

The United States jumped in the rankings as a result of continued growth in oil and gas production from shale plays, the chamber said.

“Combined with growing energy production from Canada and a reformed hydrocarbon sector in Mexico, it’s possible we’ll soon see the world’s energy center of gravity shifting away from the Middle East and towards North America, bringing with it even greater economic and geopolitical advantages,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the chamber’s Energy Institute, in a statement.