A projected eight million barrels of liquid natural gas and oil were added from tight plays in North America between years 2010 and 2020. Obviously, there are numerous global implications across the fields of academia, environmental advocacy, and oil advocacy. In general, the consensus from different groups is that oil prices will gradually decline due to domestic shale mining, and more information from ongoing research and development initiatives will simultaneously mitigate concerns about safety and environmental impact.
Where the U.S. Is Today
Currently, the tight liquids production rate in North America is approaching and passing 4 million barrels per day, including liquid natural gas. Approximately 50 percent of growth is currently attributed to Eagle Ford, and other notable growth is shared between Bakken and Permian Midland. North Dakota Bakken oil production may exceed expectations later this year depending on weather conditions.
Shale Oil Could Be Exactly What the Global Economy Needs to Thrive
The rapid growth of shale oil and the midstream sector coincided with the recession in 2008 and 2009. To date, the longest period of high oil prices was in the summer of 2008. However, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have yet to sufficiently cool prolonged heating experienced by oil markets, and without the Shale Boom in the U.S., oil prices would have likely risen to the point where commerce was damaged substantially, especially in Brazil, Russia, China, and India. It is feasible that North American oil could render oil from Saudi Arabia obsolete in the coming decades.
Immediate Returns for North American and U.S. Businesses
U.S. companies, especially in the midstream sector, have experienced unprecedented opportunities for growth.
Whereas it would be possible to distribute ongoing research and development regarding shale mining, the U.S. has demographics and legal statutes that suit the industry well. Although the U.S. has some of the harshest environmental regulations in the developed world, the U.S. also has the resources and political structure to make large-scale operations viable.
Currently, few types of infrastructure run throughout the entire 48 states in the U.S. Most notably, the interstate highway system covers most of the country. However, electric and water systems continue to remain localized. Midstream business is also currently overwhelmed with developing pipelines that can deliver crude oil and natural gas to refinery sites and eventually the end user. U.S. midstream companies as well as large energy enterprises have the opportunity to collaborate with local governments for optimal outcomes in a relatively short period of time.
Differentiating Factors in Global Crude Oil and Natural Gas Mining
Midstream business is one of the primary differentiating factors between the U.S., Australia, and developing countries in the oil and gas mining industry. The U.S. has the existing workforce to support the rapidly growing midstream sector, and the U.S. has the capability to grow local workforces quickly. Additionally, localized areas with existing infrastructure give the U.S. an edge over places such as Western Australia when delivering large amounts of oil and gas to the end user. Eventually, shale mining might become a global norm. For now, the shale mining boom has just started. More research is needed to fully understand shale and perfect various processes.