@ Matt Bryant
'Which of course completely ignores the fact that Chinese and African demands for fuel - which are currently driving the oil shortage - will have risen at a much faster rate, and will have increased the worldwide demand exponentially, or did you think they're just going to stop using fuel because Obama will ask them nicely if he gets to be Prez?'
No, I was pointing out that any extra oil from the US offshore fields will do nothing to improve American energy security.
With over 1 million wells drilled, North America is a mature region for oil and gas exploration and the potential for huge new reserves are very small. Proven reserves are around 21 billion barrels (sounds a lot, but it's only 3 years of total US demand).
If you add the Federal Outer Continental Shelf, the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, and the Bakken Formation in North-Dakota/Montana you can get up to 134 billion barrels of TECHNICALLY recoverable crude. However, technically recoverable does not mean it will be ECONOMICALLY recoverable, nor does it discuss the RATE that oil can be recovered from those resources. So a good portion of US oil will never be as cheap as competing sources from the Middle East, Nigeria or Central and South America. And then you're into markets - will the US legislate to exclude cheaper oil from their markets.
'or stimulating US companies to produce oil from oil-shale'
Ah that old canard - oil shale. Shale oil was supposedly economic when oil was above $50ppb, and yet it is still not being recovered. And why is that? Geography. To make one barrel of shale oil on the surface you need anything between one and five barrels of water. The majority of US shale deposits lie in the Green River Formation in the Rocky Mountains. The Green River is a tributary of the Colorado, a river which is already over-committed for other uses - such as keeping people alive.
Sub-surface retorting is an alternative, but it is a potentially huge hazard to ground water quality (see above). All methods of making shale oil produce large amounts of CO2 and SO2 and create vast quantities of waste material. So it's actually even less clean than coal.