U.S. foreign policy and military commitments in the Middle East have long been tied to U.S. dependence on oil from the region. But imports from the Persian Gulf have actually declined sharply in recent years, which may lead to a realignment of policy priorities and an easing up of U.S. presence there.
The state estimates that about 325,000 wells have been drilled since the mid-1800s, but the locations of 200,000 of them are unknown. This proves problematic when new wells occasionally intersect abandoned ones, and gas rockets up to the surface in a geyser.
Back in the 1970s, U.S. drivers faced two separate oil crises that led to long lines at gas stations. Many Americans feared it would be a recurring nightmare, but gas lines have been rare over the past three decades.
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