As I have written before, Daniel Yergin is America’s energy prophet. His books should be a “must read” in the science departments at US Universities. He recently penned an Opinion piece on the US Energy outlook in 2014 (click here).
The story of how shale energy developed needs to continually be retold. Yergin tells the story in detail in his book The Quest. American innovation continues to be transformational for our economy. It took 20 years to perfect the fracking technique for horizontal drilling and another 10 years before that technique began to yield material results. Now the US is poised to reposition itself in the world economy.
Yergin pulls no punches. He states that, “The biggest innovation in energy so far this century has been the development of shale gas and the associated resource known as tight oil. Shale energy ranks at the top not only because of its abundance in the US, but also because of its profound global impact—as events in 2014 will continue to demonstrate.”. . .
“America’s shale gas and tight oil are already changing global energy markets and reducing both Europe’s competitiveness vis-à-vis the US and China’s overall manufacturing competitiveness. They are also bringing shifts in global politics. Indeed, how shale energy may change America’s role in the Middle East is becoming a hot topic in Washington DC, and in the Middle East itself.”
BP just announced a similar optimistic view of the prospects for US Shale Energy (see article).
Challenges exist in the path forward, best practices need to evolve, elected officials need to be educated, and technology needs to continue to develop so that this industry can grow in a sustainable manner. That said, the energy future of the US (once again) appears bright.