The North American Energy Revolution and Its Broader Implications

Comments Off on The North American Energy Revolution and Its Broader Implications
The North American Energy Revolution and Its Broader Implications

Never before has there been such a seismic shift in the energy landscape of any country in such a short time period like the one that is happening in the United States. It is an energy bonanza that will be gamechanging.

Consistent with America's history, this dynamic move toward energy self-sufficiency is being driven by ingenuity and innovation. Much as World War II ignited the "Golden Age" of the Mass Production Revolution, the Energy Revolution is arriving just in time to unleash the most important phase of the Digital Technology Revolution.

U.S. energy statistics for 2012 released by the Department of Energy reveal the shift:1

  • The U.S. produced an average of 6.6 million barrels of oil per day in 2012. This average is the highest output of crude oil since 1995. And, 2013 has seen no let-up in this increase, with average production at more than 7 million barrels per day for January and February — the highest production level in 20 years.
  • North Dakota, New Mexico, and Colorado set all-time records for crude oil production, and many states reached levels not seen in decades, including Oklahoma, with its highest since 1994; Texas, highest since 1989; and Utah, with production levels unseen since 1988.
  • Last year, more than 60 percent of the oil that was consumed in the U.S. was produced in the U.S., with less than 40 percent imported. This represents a major shift from 2005, when 60 percent of the oil that the U.S. consumed came from foreign sources.
  • Natural gas production also increased in 2012, edging up 5 percent to reach a new record high of nearly 30 trillion cubic feet. This increase came on the heels of a 7.4 percent gain in 2011.
  • This record level of gas production in 2012, combined with the 20-year high of oil production, made America the most energy self-sufficient it has been since 1991. Specifically, 83.2 percent of all the energy consumed domestically was from domestically produced sources.

These increases are not merely temporary, upward blips that will quickly reverse. They are driven by a dramatic shift in our ability to access domestic energy supplies — and that's the driving force behind the Energy Revolution.

One of the main technological breakthroughs is, of course, fracking, and it is making big headlines. Why? Because it's crucial to cost-effectively unlocking shale oil and shale gas from formations like the Marcellus in the Appalachian Basin and the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana.

Notably, the United States is not only benefiting from enormous finds of new domestic shale gas and oil, but also from its proximity to Canadian tar sands and its wealth of old conventional oil fields that are being redeveloped using state-of-the-art technology...

To continue reading, become a paid subscriber for full access.
Already a Trends Magazine subscriber? Login for full access now.

Subscribe for as low as $195/year

  • Get 12 months of Trends that will impact your business and your life
  • Gain access to the entire Trends Research Library
  • Optional Trends monthly CDs in addition to your On-Line access
  • Receive our exclusive "Trends Investor Forecast 2015" as a free online gift
  • If you do not like what you see, you can cancel anytime and receive a 100% full refund