Natural gas has the power to "rock the world," according to The Wall Street Journal. We have generations of supply of this clean energy resource, and we are now the world's biggest producer.
The newfound abundance of natural gas has gotten a lot of people's notice, from Pulitzer-prize winner Daniel Yergin to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize winner himself. The vast new supplies of natural gas thanks to U.S. shale plays mean that there is enough natural gas available at lower prices to power and heat our homes and businesses and run our vehicles for generations to come.
And stable, abundant supplies mean stable markets, making natural gas an increasingly attractive option for power generation, transportation, industrial and residential uses.
Here's what the experts are saying about the long-term outlook for natural gas supplies:
"Natural Gas Resource Assessment" (April 2011)
"The United States possesses a total resource base of 1,898 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) as of year-end 2010. This is the highest resource evaluation in the Committee's 46-year history, exceeding the previous record-high assessment by 61 Tcf... When the PGC's results are combined with the U.S. Department of Energy's latest available determination of proved dry-gas reserves, 273 Tcf as of year-end 2009, the United States has a total available future supply of 2,170 Tcf, an increase of 89 Tcf over the previous evaluation."
"Fueling North America's Energy Future" (March 2010)
"A major new factor-unconventional natural gas-is moving to the fore in the US energy scene and the national energy discussion,' Cambridge Energy Research Associates says. Natural gas ``has the potential, at least, to cause a paradigm shift in the fueling of North America's energy future." Shale gas accounted for only 1 percent of US natural gas supply in 2000; today it is 20 percent. By 2035 it could be 50 percent, CERA says.
"The Future of Natural Gas" (June 2010)
"Abundant global natural gas resources imply greatly expanded natural gas use, with especially large growth in electricity generation,' MIT said in its interim report on natural gas. ``Natural gas will assume an increasing share of the U.S. energy mix over the next several decades, with the large unconventional resource playing a key role.'
"The combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies has made it possible to produce shale gas economically, leading to an average annual growth rate of 48 percent over the 2006-2010 period. Shale gas production continues to increase strongly through 2035... growing almost fourfold from 2009-2035."
(TCF/year, projected to 2035)
Source: Annual Energy Outlook 2012