Jennifer Presley, Senior Editor, Production Ten years ago, the energy future of the US was looking pretty grim. A 2003 Time magazine article titled “The US is Running Out of Energy” said that “Natural gas is in scarce supply. Crude oil production is winding down….And the U.S. is likely to be faced with recurring oil and natural gas crises for some years to come.” What a difference a decade can make! Today, natural gas is so plentiful that a little scarcity could be seen as a good thing and crude oil has producers far from winding down. In regards to where the US stands in oil and gas supplies, Jack Williams, president of XTO Energy, in remarks made at this week’s SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, said, “Not only have we reached the enormous reserves of oil, gas, and gas liquids in shale rock formations across the United States, we have developed technologies that enabled us to responsibly develop one of the world’s largest known oil reserves, Canada’s Athabsaca oil sands, as well as significant amounts of oil and gas from the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. “As a result, North American oil and natural gas production has grown by about 10% over just the past decade, and today is at its highest level in 30 years. ExxonMobil sees North American oil and natural gas production rising by a total of 45% from 2010 to 2040,” he noted. A quick review of the past 10 years would show that the explosion in growth is relatively new and perhaps unexpected by some. For example, the triennial 17th International Conference and Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG 17) will be in Houston this year. The location of the event alternates between LNG buyer and seller nations. Algeria, as a leading exporter of LNG, played host to the last conference in 2010. It was in Algeria that the announcement was made that the conference would return to the US after a 27-year absence, with Houston selected as the host city. Three short years later, the US position as LNG buyer has shifted and, in doing so, captured global attention. According to a statement from LNG 17 organizers, it is anticipated that the conference will attract approximately 5,000 attendees from over 80 countries, a significant increase in numbers from previous years. “We have received over 400 abstracts from leading industry officials, which is the largest number ever submitted for this event,” said David Carroll, president and CEO of Gas Technology Institute and president of IGU 2015-18, in prepared remarks. While it is difficult to predict where we will be in the next 10 years, it is safe to say that the ride will be an interesting one full of unexpected twists and turns. Contact the author, Jennifer Presley, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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