Record-Breaking U.S. Natural Gas Production Making America More Energy Secure This Fourth of July

The United States has long been a top global producer of natural gas, but the shale revolution has solidified U.S. energy dominance in recent years. And, as EID’s latest video shows, it’s being led by growth in the Appalachian and Permian basins.

Booming shale production in the Permian and Appalachian Basins has ushered in a new era of American energy dominance since 2012.

From the 1960s through the early 2000s, the United States had been in a sort of dance with the former Soviet Union and Russia for the title of the world’s top natural gas producer, according to BP statistical data. At the start of the shale revolution – a mere decade ago in 2008 – America’s 52.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) ranked it second behind Russia who produced 59 bcf/d. By 2011, the two countries were were neck and neck at 59.7 bcf/d, but by 2012 the United States had secured its number one position. And it hasn’t slowed down since: America produced 24 percent more natural gas per day in 2018 than Russia and recorded the largest annual growth seen by any country in history.

In 2012, something even more incredible happened, though. The U.S. Appalachian Basin – which includes the Marcellus and Utica shales in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia – knocked Indonesia out of the top-10 when it became the world’s ninth highest natural gas producing “country”.  Less than a decade later in 2018, the Appalachian region alone produced enough natural gas (28.4 bcf/d) to earn it the number three spot over major players like Iran, Canada and Qatar.  

Texas’ and New Mexico’s Permian Basin has also emerged as a major natural gas producing entity in its own right – netting 11.4 bcf/d in 2018, which was just shy of Norway’s 11.7 bcf/d, earning it the number 10 spot.

So far in 2019, the Energy Information Administration estimates that the Appalachian Basin is already producing a whopping 32.4 bcf/d – that’s half of Russia’s output and nearly 40 percent more than number four Iran’s 2018 daily production. Further, with the Permian Basin now producing 14.7 bcf/d, it would rank eighth by 2018 production figures – ahead of Australia and Norway, and quickly closing in on China’s 15.6 bcf/d.

Natural gas is fueling America’s energy independence.

By producing more at home, the United States is increasing its energy security. Natural gas production has not only enabled America to decrease its dependence on foreign energy, but has also been instrumental in transforming the country from a net energy importer to a net natural gas exporter. The United States is predicted to be a net energy exporter by 2020.

There is a lot to cheer for at home this Independence Day – record levels of oil and natural gas production, record year-over-year growth in oil and gas production, a bright outlook for American energy exports, and, perhaps most appropriately – American energy independence.

Happy Fourth of July from everyone at Energy In Depth!

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