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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