The Energy Revolution Is Here

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The Energy Revolution Is Here

As the Trends editors predicted nearly a decade ago, the oil and natural gas industry is staging a major comeback in North America. That has already strengthened the U.S. economy by creating jobs, increasing household wealth, and increasing our national security. If Congress and the administration are willing to support America's domestic energy production, oil and natural gas are poised to fuel an economic renaissance.

A recent study by the consultancy IHS projects that employment from unconventional oil and natural gas supported more than 1.7 million U.S. jobs in 2012, and that number will top 3.5 million by 2035. But that's not all:1

  • More than $5.1 trillion in capital expenditures will take place between 2012 and 2035 across unconventional oil and natural gas activity.
  • In 2012, unconventional oil and natural gas activity contributed nearly $62 billion in federal, state, and local tax receipts, which by 2020, will grow to just over $111 billion annually. 

To unlock that potential, Washington needs to expand access to domestic energy resources and allow the export of U.S. liquefied natural gas. Natural gas demand is set to increase worldwide, and the U.S. has an opportunity to tap into the economic benefits of exporting our domestic resources.2

Already, U.S. exports of petroleum products have nearly tripled since 2006. Federal law prohibits the export of most U.S. crude oil, but U.S. refiners can export finished petroleum products like fuel oil, gasoline, aviation fuel, kerosene, diesel fuel, petroleum coke, propane, and butane.  In July 2013, U.S. exports of finished petroleum products and natural gas plant liquids reached a new all-time record of 3.9 million barrels per day, an increase of more than 20 percent from a year earlier, and more than twice the 1.9 million barrels per day in January 2010. 

U.S. Exports of Petroleum Products

In 2006, before new technologies revolutionized the extraction of tight shale oil, U.S. exports of petroleum products averaged only 1.3 million barrels per day. The acceleration in exports is made possible because of an unprecedented production boom. For example, U.S. oil output in September 2013 increased by 25.4 percent from a year earlier to 7.8 million barrels per day; that's the highest monthly output of crude oil in more than 24 years — and that's a 50% increase since 2006...

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