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Frack Baby Frack
America Set for Net Exports of Natural Gas

In just two years the U.S. will stop being a net importer of natural gas, and start a new era as a net exporter of the hydrocarbon. The EIA reports:

In its recently released Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO2015), EIA expects the United States to be a net natural gas exporter by 2017. After 2017, natural gas trade is driven largely by the availability of natural gas resources and by world energy prices. Increased availability of domestic gas or higher world energy prices each increase the gap between the cost of U.S. natural gas and world prices that encourages exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and, to a lesser extent, greater exports by pipeline to Mexico. […]

Increased shale gas production accounts for three-quarters of the increase in total dry gas production. More than half of the increase in shale gas production comes from the Haynesville and Marcellus formations.

It’s no wonder where this is coming from. Thanks to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well drilling, domestic production is booming. That’s having a radical effect on our natural gas trade balance; even in the most conservative low oil price scenarios, we’ll be selling more gas than we buy in just two years, and can expect to remain net exporters for the foreseeable future.

This is what we refer to when we speak of shale’s effect on American energy security. It’s a momentous milestone that ten years ago, as companies were busy investing tens of billions of dollars into LNG import terminals, wasn’t even discussed as a realistic possibility. Now we’re constructing export terminals so that we might find customers for this glut where pipelines can’t reach.

It’s been a swift and welcome transformation, one which gives the U.S. more options abroad and cheaper supplies at home. Hail shale!

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  • fastrackn1

    Too bad there isn’t a way to store all the excess for ourselves (not possible of course), and let everyone else sell their reserves…no telling what the long-term future holds for us.

  • FriendlyGoat

    There is nothing wrong with America being a net exporter of gas AFTER every last American need for both consumers and industry has been met at a moderate price. There IS something wrong with any exports of gas or oil which increase prices for consumers and industry in this country above where those prices might be without the exporting. In other words, ordinary citizens (again, including industry) should not be baited with words like “miracle” to describe fracking unless and until we are all experiencing the benefit of permanent glut. There is a time for exporting gas and oil——maybe—and we’re not quite there yet.

    • Andrew Allison

      Sorry but, since we don’t (yet) live in a socialist heaven like Venezuela, the US gas belongs to its owners, not “every last American”. Said owners are free to sell it to the highest bidder. But you can console yourself with the thought that the customers for Russian gas will be paying less thanks to the increased supply [grin].

      • FriendlyGoat

        Some of the gas is produced on public lands, isn’t it? All of the unrefined crude oil is still subject to a citizen-imposed export ban dating to the 1970’s, isn’t it?

        • Andrew Allison

          Which has what, exactly, to do with my reply?

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, public lands imply public ownership of the oil under them.
            A ban on export of crude indicates that American citizens believe American oil belongs in the American market, no?

    • Dale Fayda

      Who knows, maybe this enormous financial windfall brought about by fracking, which was/is fought maniacally by the Left, brings about some high-end tax cuts? Pretty cool, ha?

      • FriendlyGoat

        Could happen. Disastrous idea, of course.

        • Dale Fayda

          Oh, of course. He, he, he…

    • JR

      I find it curious that as a self-avowed progressive, sometimes you make statements that are extremely conservative, even reactionary in nature. The idea that you should use crude protectionism to favor some group of industries chosen by an ever-growing (but surely benevolent and kind) State doesn’t sound like something that has a lot of progress going on for it. Not to mention that if you set a resource price too low vs. it’s true market value, you get over-consumption and waste. Surely, over-consuming carbon-based energy is not something anyone would want.

      • FriendlyGoat

        You act like you have never met a pro-business liberal before. It’s not like we leftists have no regard for energy reality in industry, you know. Gas is the best of the carbons, and if we have a glut of it, we ought to further replace coal and oil—–at least to some extent. We should also use it for the purpose of job creation, that thing which Republicans believe is not done with materials and energy, but rather from somehow drowning the IRS.

        • JR

          Oh my god, politicians say stupid things all the time. Just a few months ago, President Obama justified vetoing the Keystone Pipeline because it will help Canadians with “their” oil more so than us with “our” oil. It’s almost as if the smartest person to ever become President didn’t fully understand the meaning of the word “commodity”. Or when the smartest person ever to become President dismissed the idea of drilling for more oil domestically as a mere right-wing talking point because everyone knows increasing supply to lower prices is just crazy talk.

          https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/23/remarks-president-energy

          But then again, it was 2012, there was an election to win. Which brings us to IRS. IRS is the most feared government agency there is. They put Al Capone way. You don’t want IRS to be $%@%$$$% with you. And after midterm elections of 2010 and throughout the 2012 campaign, there has been a pattern of IRS behavior that to a lot of people smelled like one party using the government institutions themselves to stay in power. Did it actually happen? Who knows? Louis Lerner’s e-mails have appeared and disappeared more times than I can count. In a totally weird coincidence that has nothing to do with anything, computer hard drives of dozens of people who might have been implicated in any wrongdoing crashed. Every single one of them crashed and was recycled so due to pure chance there is no way to check. Happens all the time. And the fact that Louis Lerner was known to use the power of her office to advance an agenda of one of the major parties in the US is totally just whatever.

          http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2013/05/lerner-intrigue-goes-back-to-96-durbinsalvi-us-senate-race.html

          Well, enough people got sufficiently disturbed by that that they voted for those who will represent THEM by loosening the grip of the IRS. Which in DC talk means giving them less money. Is giving IRS less money a bad thing? Theoretically, a reasonable argument can be made that it is. But the fault lies with the party that created an appearance of impropriety. And that’s assuming that all these 1 in billions coincidences actually were coincidences.

          For what’s it worth, I met and meet a lot of people who consider themselves to be pro-business liberals. However,the overlap of policies that they consider to be pro-business and what people who own and operate businesses consider to be pro-business tends to be a lot smaller than pro-business liberals seem to believe.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Speaking first to your LAST paragraph, OF COURSE. Liberals believe educated employees and customers, health-insured employees and customers, public infrastructure and national energy policy are pro-business. The conservatives take all that for granted and talk of nothing but tax cuts, deregulation and union-busting.

            As for the IRS, years ago I hosted their agents many times and answered all their questions during the audits of my employer. Never met one who unreasonable at all.

          • JR

            Your pleasant experience with IRS notwithstanding, the problem is with having government agencies used to promote or stifle speech is problematic. If you want to go that way, fine, but don’t be shocked when there is a backlash.
            http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-irs-goes-to-court-1430953480

            As for pro-business liberals, you proved my point beautifully. Living in NYC area, there are tons of people who say they are pro-business liberals and that by imposing high costs on these business with regulation, providing additional benefits that they can’t afford, making sure every public works project is union only (with all the attendant cost over-runs) they are actually helping businesses. But making people jump through more bureaucratic hoops, imposing costs on them that they can’t bear is NOT business friendly. There is a reason auto assembly jobs disappeared in heavily liberal Detroit and re-appeared in less liberal South. NYC is considered one of the most unfriendly places to start small businesses by small business association despite it’s impeccable liberal credentials. Baltimore has really high taxes, regulations, and federal/state aid for infrastructure. But it doesn’t look like it is a high on the list of places to open a business to me.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I do not believe the 501(c) 4 statute was written for the purpose of secret money running political ads in which the “speechers” escape being identifiable and held accountable for their words. Most Americans don’t believe that either. Since five Republican males on the Supreme Court opened that door too wide all by themselves, it doesn’t bother me at all if the IRS puts extra scrutiny on new applications for those tax-exempt organizations. Lois Lerner is not our enemy for —–to whatever extent—-she was trying to uphold the letter and spirit of a statute. Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts and Kennedy are the enemies who hurt us all, not Lerner.

          • JR

            Yes, but IRS put extra scrutiny on SOME of these organizations and not the others. THAT is a problem. Lois Lerner was trying to “uphold” the letter and spirit of the statute by targeting organizations based on their political view. Now, that may not bother you. A lot of liberals tend to to not be bothered when conservatives’ freedom of speech and association are infringed upon. That’s fine, hooray for them. But you can’t expect people whose rights are being infringed upon to just roll over. You can’t live in a world where all ends justify your means, but not anyone else’s.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Why don’t we just roll the whole thing back to a pre-Citizen’s United world with NOBODY mis-using tax-exempts for politics?
            Conservatives cool with that?

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