America's Hydrocarbon Boom

Overview

Abundant energy means that Americans enjoy access to cheap power while workers in the oil and gas industry earn some of the highest blue-collar wages in the country. Low-cost energy is also a crucial input to the petrochemicals and manufacturing sectors and a major factor behind the “re-shoring” of hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs.

Over the past decade, America’s energy potential has been transformed by the Shale Revolution, which has made the U.S. the world’s largest hydrocarbon producer and ended over half a century of dependence on energy imports.

The International Energy Agency credits more natural gas from shale for helping the U.S. reduce CO2 emissions faster than any other nation in the “history of energy.” Over the next 15 years, IHS Markit estimates,  nearly 2 million new jobs will become available in the U.S. oil and gas business thanks to shale. The U.S. is on track to become the world’s largest oil and gas exporter by 2024. This “freedom energy” will be essential in buffering the political influence of Russia and OPEC, which seek to dominate an oil- and gas-hungry world.

Feature Charticle

America's Hydrocarbon Boom 

BP

Findings: 

  • Domestic production of oil and gas had been in decline since 1970 and 1973, respectively, sparking fears of Peak Oil—the point where domestic production is believed to have peaked and thereafter faces continual decline—exacerbated by the twin oil price shocks of the 1970s.  
  • Despite efforts to reduce American dependence on foreign energy, these declines continued until the Shale Revolution reversed them, sending output of oil and gas rising at the fastest rate seen anywhere in the world.

Source: BP, Statisical Review of World Energy, June 2019, https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy/downloads.html