From the Forbes article “How Unconventional Oil And Gas Is Supercharging The U.S. Economy“:
The commencement of the crude oil and natural gas revolution can be boiled down to one simple equation:
Abundant resources + cost effective extraction = high production levels of unconventional oil and gas.
The net effect is a reshaping of the U.S. energy industry and our economy. Additionally, the country’s increased reliance on natural gas (displacing coal) has already benefited the environment, and will continue to do so in the future. Carbon emissions hit a 20-year low (in the first quarter 2012 according to EIA) and some industry observers believe that the U.S. could meet the Kyoto agreement standards by 2020 (even though the U.S. did not sign it).
The emergence of unconventional oil and gas will have tremendous impacts on both the energy industry and the economy. The outlook for unconventional gas is exceptionally bright—with expectations for relatively low future natural gas prices, enough supply to meet domestic needs, and surplus enough to export to other countries. While the unconventional oil story continues to unfold and evolve, an abundance of domestic crude oil is expected. And, thus, an opportunity to not only significantly reduce the country’s dependence on oil imports, but to also increase energy security. Currently, crude oil prices are out of balance as new supply regions are isolated, making it difficult to get crude oil to market. That is expected to change once the necessary infrastructure is built to handle the new-found supply. As a result of these infrastructure needs, and the tremendous opportunities associated with unconventional oil and gas, U.S. economic activity is rising.