U.S. Natural Gas and Oil – Still No. 1
Posted August 23, 2019
We like to talk about the ongoing strength of the U.S. shale revolution – and that’s intentional because, like most Americans, we think continued leadership in producing natural gas and oil is a big deal.
This week the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) underscored America’s energy influence, reporting that last year the U.S. led the world in natural gas and oil production, which it has done since 2014.
Further, U.S. oil and natural gas production increased by 16% and 12%, respectively, in 2018 – setting a new record, yet again. Per EIA’s reporting, last year’s growth in the U.S. was “one of the largest absolute petroleum and natural gas production increases from a single country in history.”
All of this is a testament to the U.S. natural gas and oil industry’s progress over the past decade, with significant implications for our security and economic futures.
American resource abundance means we’re less vulnerable to economic and policy pressures from foreign suppliers. Earlier this summer, the International Energy Agency projected that the U.S. would contribute 90% of this year’s increase in world oil supply. And, with net imports of petroleum products at their lowest levels in more than 50 years, the U.S. is positioned to be the leading stabilizer of global supply. This is good for the U.S. because increased domestic supply has tended to put downward pressure on global crude oil prices, which in the past has helped lower costs for Americans here at home.
With rapid growth of U.S. oil and natural gas exports (as liquefied natural gas or LNG), domestic energy is also delivering benefits around the globe. American LNG is more accessible in Europe and Asia, where declining prices are incentivizing coal-to-natural gas switching in power generation, a major contributor to emissions reductions. Meanwhile, U.S. liquified petroleum gases, which are energy efficient and cost-effective cooking fuels, are more readily available worldwide.
More good news: Official forecasts show no signs of declining American energy leadership. In fact, according to EIA data, the U.S. is expected to become a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products by the fourth quarter of 2019, and LNG exports are expected to grow by 60% this year over last.
Bolstered by record production levels, American natural gas and oil exports are a force for global good. Plentiful supplies allow the U.S. to support our allies and promote stability, even when regional conflicts threaten to disrupt the energy marketplace. By diversifying the world’s resource base, we are strengthening America’s foreign policy and making ourselves less susceptible to others’ attempts to leverage energy assets. And, because natural gas and oil power the U.S. military, energy abundance fortifies our ability to maintain national security and to promote peace and prosperity.
Ultimately, record-breaking domestic natural gas and oil production benefits the American economy, creating opportunities for U.S. consumers, industry employees and international trading partners. As global demand grows over the next few decades, consumers can depend on the American natural gas and oil industry to supply products for a variety of everyday uses – and that’s a record we’ll always be proud of.
About The Author
Sam Winstel is a writer for the American Petroleum Institute. He comes to API from Edelman, where he supported communications marketing strategies for clients across the firm’s energy and federal government practices. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Sam graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina, and he currently resides in Washington, D.C.