American Shale Gas Makes Everyday Products Possible
Shale gas plays a much larger role in our daily lives than we think. We know that natural gas covers some serious staples – such as helping us heat our homes, cook our food and even fuel our vehicles – but did you know that it is also a crucial component in many of our everyday products? Natural gas serves as an important feedstock for the manufacturing industry and is used to make everything from candles to balloons.
Continuing with that theme, natural gas plays a role in bringing together many parts of the typical birthday party: candy for gift bags, glue for decorations, propane for the grill, refrigerants to keep the reshreshments cold and even the phone to invite the guests. These items have always depended on a steady supply of natural gas; however, that supply was not always in the United States. Today, thanks to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies, the U.S. shale revolution has unlocked an abundant supply of affordable, clean-burning natural gas. That record supply — and its affordability — has helped revitalize the U.S. manufacturing sector. In 2012, PricewaterhouseCoopers noted:
“As the U.S. chemical industry expands NGL conversion into a higher volume of downstream products, the positive impacts could flow through the value chain into other manufacturing sectors, particularly given that chemicals are used in an estimated 90 percent of all manufactured products.”
The impact of America’s natural resources cannot be understated. Shale development is reopening American businesses while attracting foreign companies to our shores. As the American Chemistry Council highlighted:
“These new projects are made possible by one factor above all – plentiful and affordable natural gas and natural gas liquids from shale formations. U.S. chemical makers are building new factories, expanding production and revamping their operations to capitalize on lower energy and feedstock costs.”
Check out EID’s new infographic – “The Products of American Shale Development” – to learn more about the role of natural gas in our lives.