Countries become more self-sufficient by developing domestic supplies of shale oil and gas.
In the U.S. the recent increase in domestic shale production has lowered the cost of natural gas for use in homes, industries and electric generating plants, while enhancing energy security through the reduced reliance on crude oil imports.
The world’s population is forecast to grow from seven billion people today to nine billion by 2050, with most of the growth occurring in developing countries. Responsible shale oil and gas production will help meet the energy demands of this growing population and the world’s rising standard of living.
U.S. Approaching the Goal of Energy Self-Sufficiency
Production of shale oil and gas is creating enhanced energy security for America.
The International Energy Agency predicts the U.S. oil output will surpass that of Saudi Arabia and Russia by 2017, reaching levels high enough to make the U.S. nearly energy independent.
Within developed countries energy security to support economic development and independence has been a focus of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Affordable and accessible local energy sources drive industrial development and reduce the need for imports, making nations more self-sufficient. The U.S., for example, has seen a resurgence of steel and petrochemical production and manufacturing as industries return to the country after years of outsourcing to lower cost markets.
Natural gas produced from shale is a growing source of fuel for the generation of electricity in the U.S. It has half the carbon footprint of coal, fewer particulate emissions and its abundance is driving down costs, leading to more affordable energy for homes, businesses and industries. The U.S. now has enough energy to heat 60 million homes for 160 years and power 65 million cars for 60 years. By 2030 natural gas could rival coal and oil as a primary global energy source. These changes are ushering in a new era of energy security. In 2007 shale gas production accounted for approximately five percent of U.S. natural gas output. Today it makes up nearly 30 percent. In 2011 U.S. oil production was at its highest level in eight years and natural gas production exceeded all past production volumes. By contrast, oil and natural gas imports were at 12- and 13-year lows, respectively. Hydrocarbon energy will continue to be a driver of economic development for the foreseeable future.
Energy Policy Is Fundamental to U.S. Competitiveness
John B. Hess, Chairman and CEO of the Hess Corporation, shares his views.
The United States desperately needs an energy policy. It is fundamental to our economic growth, environmental sustainability and national security. With five percent of the world's population and 20 percent of its energy use, the U.S. has an obligation to lead globally. We need to set the right example at home. Learn More