The Lifecycle of Domestic Natural Gas: From Boom to Overkill
Natural gas was first a boon for domestic energy producers and then an albatross. Hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, a process that cracks rock deep underground to release oil and natural gas, made production possible in many previously untapped shale fields, sparking a land grab that began a decade ago.
During President Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House, soaring production of natural gas from horizontal drilling and fracking has pushed supplies to record highs for many years. The boom in domestic production of both oil and natural gas even provided the United States with 84 percent of its energy requirements last year, the highest annual level since 1991.
The shale gas revolution swiftly changed the economics of natural gas. It prompted the industry to launch more than 100 new projects in the past several years — specifically aimed at taking advantage of low prices — with investments totaling billions of dollars and 50,000 new jobs created.