The broadcast networks may not want to give credit to hydraulic fracturing for increasing U.S. oil production and lowering global oil prices, but at least one angry world leader did just that.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro complained that fracking in the U.S. has “flooded” the world market and contributed to lower oil prices, a connection that broadcast networks’ evening news reports barely made recently.
"The oil they're taking from (shale deposits) and the gas. They've flooded the international market to batter the Russian economy ..., Iran and to hurt us, Venezuela," Maduro said in a broadcast on VTV, a state-run TV channel in Venezuela, according to Fox News Latino.
Fracking has been one cause of increased oil production in the U.S. That increased production helped lower oil prices by more than 30 percent since September 29. The decline in oil prices since June has severely impacted Venezuela, since oil exports were a major source of government income. “Some estimates put the break-even price for Venezuela to balance its budget at around $121 a barrel,” CNBC reported on December 7. That’s more than double current oil prices. Oil closed at $59.15-per-barrel on December 11.
As of January 2014, Venezuela’s state-run oil company brought in 96 percent of foreign earnings, according to The Economist. Maduro announced on December 2 that the government would cut spending by 20 percent.