The abundance of America’s oil and natural gas resources means consumers enjoy greater supply security, more affordably priced energy and millions of jobs created by new oil and natural gas development. Additionally, increased use of cleaner-burning natural gas in place of coal has helped reduce U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These benefits stem from revolutionary advancements in our capability to produce oil and natural gas from previously untapped reservoirs, such as shale rock, deep offshore deposits and oil sands.
Providing Energy Security
With other countries still at an early stage in exploring their own potential from shale and other tight formation energy resources, the implications for greater balance in the global oil and natural gas markets are very positive. Already, the abundance of domestic natural gas has reduced the need for the U.S. to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the foreseeable future. This has, in turn, made more LNG available to those nations that lack their own energy resources, with obvious benefits for the world economy. U.S. crude oil exports would provide secure supplies to our allies, increasing U.S. foreign policy leverage and reducing the influence of international suppliers who are not aligned with the U.S., thus enhancing the nation’s energy security. With a greater percent of the world’s oil supplies coming from stable sources in North America, the U.S. will also benefit from having less volatile global crude and consumer fuel prices.
Spurring Economic Development
The oil and natural gas industry is a key driver of U.S. economic growth, supporting 9.8 million jobs while adding $1.2 trillion to the U.S. national economy, representing 8% of the U.S. gross domestic product.
In addition, energy production contributes billions in government revenue through federal, state and local income taxes, severance taxes, royalties and fees. In fact, royalties on oil and natural gas production and bonus payments on new leases on federal lands and waters are the second-largest federal revenue source, trailing only taxes collected by the IRS.
In addition to far-reaching economic benefits, responsibly developing additional oil and natural gas resources and allowing exports will help grow the U.S. economy. The U.S. is already less dependent on foreign producers for natural gas supplies. Crude oil production, from shale and other tight formations, is on a sharp increase domestically. The EIA is now forecasting 7.9 million barrels per day crude oil production for 2014, which would mark the highest annual average level of production since 1988. Central to this projected growth will be ongoing development activity in key onshore basins. The bulk of crude oil forecast production growth over the coming years is expected from drilling in shale plays in the Williston Basin’s Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana and in the Eagle Ford and Permian Basins in Texas. The projected total production has the potential of reaching more than 10 million barrels per day between 2020 and 2040.