Plunging oil prices have hurt American companies in the short run, but increased U.S. production means that the country is on the path to become a global leader in oil production, the head of the U.S. oil and gas industry's top lobbying arm said.
Falling oil prices have empowered the United States and weakened OPEC and Russia, said Jack Gerard, the CEO of the American Petroleum Institute.
The result is that increased U.S. production in North Dakota and elsewhere has "fundamentally reordered the world's energy markets," he said.
Stocks in energy companies have tumbled as oil prices have dropped in recent weeks. But Gerard, speaking Tuesday at an annual "State of American Energy" event in Washington, said price fluctuations haven't affected the long-term prospects for oil demand.