As a matter of national security, foreign oil dependence is frowned upon and is a constant point of contention. Yet the U.S. is quickly becoming more and more oil independent, thanks to new tactics of domestic companies that are shaping the future of American oil. These advances boost the American economy, and dent those of countries where oil exports play a huge role in their economies, such as Russia, Iran and Iraq.

Additionally, the issue of foreign dependence isn’t as hot-button as it seems to be in social settings. The U.S. currently gets 20 percent of the oil we use from Canada, and only 8 percent from the Middle East, leaving 72 percent of oil to be produced domestically. Though that 8 percent that is traded with the Middle East, it is done so in the dollar, increasing the value of the dollar and subsequently American purchasing power.

With certain strategies like shallow drilling to extrapolate oil in regions like the Appalachian Basin, companies can make strides towards America’s oil independence. Shallow and horizontal drilling is cheaper, easier and avoids the complications associated with deeper drilling, vertical drilling or deep-sea drilling. It allows companies to extract natural gas from shale deposits only a mile underground through a method called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

For example, Cunningham Energy, an energy producer from West Virginia, has thousands of acres of promised oil and gas production, keeping the methods of shallow drilling and fracking and discovery for years to come, as they will continue to find more promising basins. With these increasing possibilities of attaining our oil resources domestically, we get closer and closer to oil independency. By creating jobs and a boosted economy, Cunningham Energy has played an integral role in the economy and the American oil industry.