The Shale Revolution: Fueling U.S. Productivity

In Fracing Amazing: The Story of the Eagle Ford Shale, I explained how innovations in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing of once-useless source rock unlocked the Eagle Ford Shale formation. Here are some other developments in the growing Shale Revolution in oil and gas production.

  • Natural gas production is so prolific that the price of this clean form of energy is at at 10 year low. Cheaper fuel costs are benefiting many industries including manufacturing, transportation and electrical power generation. Examples of this include an estimate from Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. that 30 billion dollars will be spent building new factories in the coming years, with Dow Chemical starting work on a new 1.7 billion dollar ethylene plant in Free Port Texas. Construction looks to employ 2000 people.
  • Exxon Mobil reports that nine percent of U.S. jobs created in 2011 were due to oil and natural gas.
  • The Energy Industry Agency (EIA) forecasts that U.S. oil production will increase by 20 percent to rates not seen since 1994 while imports of foreign crude are expected to plunge. An example of this success is that oil production in the Williston Basin is so prolific that producers are constantly scrambling for take away capacity, moving oil by pipeline, rail and truck to get it to market.
  • Big changes are occurring in the U.S. as people look to take advantage of the potential opportunities afforded by a ready supply of inexpensive energy. This company is marketing a wall mounted natural gas pump allowing people to fill up their natural gas fueled vehicles at home.  This new energy boom is fueling human progress.