Unconventional Production Enabling “Profound Shifts”

The story of the U.S. energy revolution enabled through unconventional production is gaining worldwide attention as commodity experts across the globe are recognizing the profound shifts in the U.S. oil and gas sector, according to the American Petroleum Institute.

The International Energy Agency, or IEA, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA, and renowned energy analysts at Citigroup and IHS recently highlighted the potential for U.S. oil and gas production to change the world outlook on energy, Rayola Dougher of the American Petroleum Institute, or API.

Dougher, an API senior economist, said the upstream industry is producing more oil and gas than at any time in recent history and continuation of the trend is vital to economic recovery, future energy security and long-term prosperity.

“Recent energy projections and economic analysis suggest [the trend] can continue,” she said in a conference call with reporters. “However, the right government policies will be important to facilitating this.”

Highlighting a few of those analyses, Dougher said recent U.S. liquid fuels production, primarily oil, has grown faster in the U.S. than in any other country. In 2012, U.S. oil production rose more than in any other year since production began, she said, noting that in the past four years, U.S. crude production is up 28% and onshore natural gas production is up 27%.

The EIA and IEA project that production will be headed even higher, Dougher noted. “The U.S. EIA estimates that oil production could increase 19% by 2019, and that natural gas could increase by 39% by 2040,” she said. “The International Energy Agency says America could become the world’s largest oil producer in the second half of this decade and could be nearly self-sufficient in energy by 2035.”

The rise in production means a drop in imports. By reducing reliance on imported energy, Dougher said, the U.S. will weaken energy producers that are hostile to U.S. interests. While the U.S. will not secede from the world oil market, it can become a net exporter.

“If we can bring on a lot more energy from this hemisphere, we’re shifting the balance of energy power to very stable regions of the world, which can have an impact not only on us, but everyone that buys and sells oil,” she said.