It has taken a couple of years for the energy industry to acknowledge a new reality: Natural gas availability is soaring in contravention of forecasting models that have been in use for decades, and the fuel is set to transform everything from power generation and transport to chemicals and even the trade deficit.
In the latter part of the previous decade, attractive natural gas wellhead prices and technological advances in exploiting shale formations prompted an exodus to Appalachia. Some of the companies flocking to the Marcellus shale formation and its enormous store of natural gas willingly paid landowners several thousand dollars per acre merely to stake their claim and, when the time was right, flip their leaseholdings for a handsome profit to another speculator or to an operating company.
The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia to become the world's biggest oil producer before 2020, and will be energy independent 10 years later, according to a new forecast by the International Energy Agency.
Across America's widening energy landscape, the economic impacts of unconventional oil and natural gas are increasingly discernible. These effects are visible within the energy value chain and are extending into the broader reaches of the US economy. The focus of this research series is to assess the evolving economic contributions of unconventional oil and natural gas development activity. This study seeks to quantify how unconventional activity creates economic value in the broader economy through an examination of the exploration and production activity.
"Most people assume this (fracking) is something that just started happening....There have been wells hydraulically fractured in Michigan for 60 years." according to Jim Armbruster, MI Department of Environmental Quality geologist.
U.S. natural gas prices escaped a rout this summer as record heat helped reduce towering inventory levels. This winter, fierce cold will be needed to help absorb the newest barrage of supply that will again test the limits of an over-supplied market.
Manufacturers and drillers have been warring over exports for more than a year, but many industry analysts say exporting is inevitable.
The boom in natural gas production that has pushed prices below $2 per thousand cubic feet back in April has planted the seed for a huge correction the other way.
The coming U.S. energy boom, spearheaded by new technologies that have enabled us to recover vast amounts of previously inaccessible oil and natural gas from rock formations, will be important for several reasons, not least the nation's competitive advantage in the global economy.
TransCanada has proposed to Nebraska officials a new route for the U.S. segment of its Keystone XL pipeline that avoids the Ogallala Aquifer and the Sandhills region in Nebraska. "The identified route, along with our commitment to implement additional safety requirements above and beyond those required for any other pipeline, ensures the protection of Nebraska's resources," said Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and CEO. TransCanada submitted the revised route plan to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.