According to this article, the US has “an oil reserve at least three times that of Saudi Arabia locked in oil-shale deposits beneath federal land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming”.
“We’ve got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East,” said James Bartis, RAND senior policy researcher and the report’s lead author.
Given recent advances in technology, if the price of oil goes much over $70 per barrel, then these deposits become economically feasible to extract. Plus once the oil companies start developing this area, the price will undoubtedly go down.
Two potentially interesting side effects come to mind:
1) Once the US stops being dependent on despotic and/or unstable Middle Eastern countries for oil, this will totally change the geopolitical landscape.
2) Colorado and the rest of the Mountain West is going to experience a huge economic boom. Sort of like Galt’s Gulch, but in real life. (Note to self: Invest in real-estate around Ouray, CO and start working on developing that invisible force shield.)