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Frack Baby Frack
The World Is Gassing Up on US Shale

We already know that oil drilled from U.S. shale is leading the rise in global crude output—after all, those U.S. supplies were what helped create the glut that sent oil prices crashing from more than $110 per barrel two years ago to under $50 today—but new projections suggest that U.S. frackers will be key drivers of growth in another hydrocarbon market in the coming years: that of natural gas. The EIA reports:

In the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016) and Annual Energy Outlook 2016 (AEO2016), natural gas production worldwide is projected to increase from 342 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2015 to 554 Bcf/d by 2040. The largest component of this growth is natural gas production from shale resources, which grows from 42 Bcf/d in 2015 to 168 Bcf/d by 2040. Shale gas is expected to account for 30% of world natural gas production by the end of the forecast period. […]

In the United States, shale gas production accounted for more than half of U.S. natural gas production in 2015 and is projected to more than double from 37 Bcf/d in 2015 to 79 Bcf/d by 2040, which is 70% of total U.S. natural gas production in the AEO2016 Reference case by 2040.

The United States already produces the lion’s share of the world’s shale gas, and those fracked hydrocarbons make up the majority of U.S. natural gas production as well. But Canada, Argentina, and China are all beginning to chase after that shale bandwagon, producing small but significant quantities of fracked gas, and in the coming decades Algeria and, importantly, Mexico will hope to join the club.

Shale producers have so far struggled outside of the United States, running up against any number of hurdles—from poor geology to water scarcity, from opaque government regulations to NIMBYism—but countries and companies will refine their methods and eventually start tapping shale reserves abroad on a commercial scale. The United States will continue to lead the pack, but with Canada and Mexico both ready to join in on this energy boom, North America as a whole is emerging as a new center of global energy supplies.

All of this shale gas is helping to keep natural gas prices down, which in turn is helping to topple Old King Coal from his perch as the world’s cheapest source of power. That’s not just good news for the developing world, it’s also good news for Gaia: natural gas emits far fewer local pollutants and roughly half as much carbon as coal.

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  • Blackbeard

    But Hillary has said she is going to shut shale down. Do you think she’s just bluffing? Do you think the Greens will let her get away with bluffing? Remember, Obama said he’d destroy the coal industry and a lot of people didn’t believe him. Big mistake, he meant it and he did it.

    • CaliforniaStark

      Here is the link to a recent Daily Caller article was entitled: “Hillary and Trump Swamp Positions on Fracking”

      Trump’s comments in Colorado came at a particularly bad time; two extreme anti-fracking initiatives were being circulated, which were opposed by Colorado’s Democratic governor. Clinton indicated support for the Governor’s position, which was based on the Colorado Constitution.

      Clinton has a record of supporting fracking in the past, although she favors further regulating it now. Does Trump have a record of supporting fracking? Did he ever take a position against Gov. Cuomo’s anti-fracking order in New York? The coal industry was destroyed by natural gas, which was a cheaper and cleaner alternative to coal. Fracking made Obama’s coal regulations possible.

      • Blackbeard

        Here is what Hillary said about fracking when she was still facing competition from Sanders: “By the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place,”

        Of course there are lots of ways she can weasel out of that statement, as politicians often do. And if she does she will face withering criticism from the Sanders/Warren/BLM etc. wing of the Democratic Party, which is fast, I believe, becoming the dominant wing. Does she have the courage and the will to stand up to the Left? I doubt it but I hope you’re right.

        As for natgas and coal, of course you are right, the current economics of natgas would be leading to a decline in coal even without regulations. But remember Obama promised to destroy the coal industry long before fracking took off. Fracking is not something the Democratic encouraged or supported. Just the opposite, they did and are still doing, everything they can to discourage it, such as refusing to allow drilling on federal lands.

  • dallmovieguy

    In 2008 Mr. Obama said “We can’t drill our way to independence.” John McCain said “We can’t drill our way…. but did offer to drill more offshore” Obama passed out foam toys about Exxon and McCain – but Sarah Palin screamed at the convention DRILL BABY DRILL. George Will had a heart attack over her simple ideas. From the Guardian newspaper this on Palin “After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next,” said Palin. AND she was correct … George Will called her stupid and had his second heart Attack.
    If Republicans where smart they would run video of Hillary and Obama saying we can’t drill for independence. then If you like your Doctor you can keep your doctor… What other failed ideas have democrats and the media told you for the fast 8 years???? Drilling has lower your price at the pump – Obamacare has raised your monthly healthcare costs.

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