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“This is mainly a U.S. story” right now, said investment analyst Andrew Busch, noting that Exxon Mobil Corp. last year pulled out of once-promising exploration projects in Poland while Chevron Corp. has said commercial production in Europe is unlikely to get started this decade because of strong environmental opposition.

“The U.S. has leapt forward on the development of shale due to the rapid deployment of new technology, due to the country having been extensively geologically mapped out, and due to the foresight of states like North Dakota not to overtax or overregulate the fledgling industry,” he said. This is proving to be “a major advantage to the United States.”