New Industry Study Predicts Ongoing Success of American Shale Development

This week, British Petroleum (BP) released its updated Energy Outlook 2035, a data analysis that describes the most likely trajectory of the global energy system.  It comes to the welcoming conclusion that, thanks to the shale revolution, the U.S. will remain

“the world’s largest producer of natural gas, accounting for 23% [of global production] in 2035.”

The Outlook compares production in the United States to other countries explaining,

“Cumulative North American production of tight oil and shale gas between 2013-35 is roughly equivalent to 50% of tight oil and 30% of shale gas technically recoverable resources. The comparable numbers for the rest of the world are expected to be just 3% and 1% respectively. While production increases outside North America, the factors that have enabled the dramatic growth of North American production are unlikely to be quickly replicated elsewhere.”

Along with the growth in both oil and natural gas production, the U.S. will be “self-sufficient by the 2030s.”

The report also makes the important point that increasing natural gas consumption here at home will decrease U.S. carbon emissions “by 2035 to levels not seen since 1986.” Of course, we’ve already made significant progress on that front. America currently leads the world in carbon emission reductions, as emissions in 2012 were at their lowest level since 1994.

In addition to meeting demand here at home, the U.S. will also “become a net exporter of natural gas for the first time by 2016 and a net oil exporter in 2031,” the report says. This is because domestic energy production will rise by 32 percent in 2035, whereas consumption only grows one percent.

BP isn’t the only organization to come to these conclusions.  Last week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted that the U.S. will be the primary source of oil supply growth worldwide up to 2020, but the BP report envisions American energy having a significantly larger and more long-term impact on world energy trends.

It’s pretty clear that the U.S. will remain a global energy superpower. That’s good news for Americans currently benefiting from shale development through job creation, increasing tax revenues, and access to a cleaner and more affordable source of energy. What’s even better is that we will continue to experience these benefits for decades to come.


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