[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the August 2021 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.]
We tend to forget in the U.S. how much the global economy impacts our daily lives. For the past several decades, the U.S. economy has experienced steady growth, largely due to low inflation, low interest rates, a strong dollar, cheap energy and robust global trade. These factors have helped grow the U.S. and global economies alike, especially in emerging markets such as Asia and Latin America.
The shale revolution created a new and unique situation whereby the U.S. was able to satisfy most of its own domestic energy consumption needs while also becoming a net exporter. This has been a game changer that freed the nation from the geopolitical and trade constraints associated with its traditional dependence on energy production from unstable, and sometimes hostile, parts of the world.
Sustained market dominance for natural gas will require increased LNG exports to the developing world where cheap, clean energy is needed to fuel economies, provide electricity to the masses, reduce air pollution and replace coal-fired generation in order to meet greenhouse-gas emissions goals. In order to meet this demand, however, the U.S. gas industry needs stability in global trade policy/geopolitics, regulation and access to capital.