Here are three charts based on the new Annual Energy Outlook 2013 from the U.S. Department of Energy:
1. The first chart above shows that the U.S. is expected to produce domestically almost 83% of the energy consumed this year, which will be the highest level of energy self-sufficiency since 1991, more than two decades ago. For a quarter century, U.S. energy production as a share of domestic energy consumed was on a gradual decline, falling from a peak production share of more than 91% of the energy consumed in 1982 to below a 70% share by 2005.
But then hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling and the shale revolution happened and dramatically changed the course of U.S. energy production for the 21st century. Starting around 2008, advanced drilling technologies started accessing trapped hydrocarbons in shale rock and U.S. energy production started surging – to an all-time record high this year for natural gas and to a 14-year high in 2012 for domestic crude oil. The new upward trend in energy self-sufficiency is expected to continue for at least the next three decades, and by 2033 America’s own domestically produced energy will provide more than 90% of the total energy consumed.
2. The chart above shows the impact of the shale revolution on America’s production of domestic natural gas. Ten years ago, shale gas production was an insignificant 2% share of America’s total natural gas production. Thanks to advances in hydraulic fracturing, that share has been rising and shale gas will provide more than one-third of the natural gas produced domestically this year. By the year 2038 shale gas will represent more than half of U.S. natural gas production and will continue on an upward trajectory from there.
3. The chart above shows the Department of Energy’s estimates of CO2 emissions per capita from 1973 to 2040. Total energy-related carbon emissions are expected to fall to a 20-year low this year, and on a per-capita basis will be the lowest since at least 1973 when the Department of Energy’s data begins. From the current level of 17 tons per capita, we can expect CO2 emissions per capita to fall to 14 tons per capita in 2040, a 25.2% decrease. One of the largest contributing factors in the reduction of CO2 emissions is the switch from coal to gas for electricity generation and the switch from fuel oil to natural gas as a fuel source for heating homes and commercial buildings.
MP: The new projections from the Department of Energy through the year 2040 paint a very bright picture for America’s energy, economic, and environmental future in the first half of the 21st century. Thanks to advanced drilling technologies and the shale revolution, we can expect ongoing increases in domestic oil and gas production, which will: a) keep adding thousands of new direct jobs for drilling activities and thousands of more indirect jobs throughout the energy supply chain, b) attract billions of dollars in new investment capital, and therefore, c) continue to generate energy-related prosperity in states like North Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Ohio. As we access more of America’s bonanza of shale gas and oil, the country’s energy self-sufficiency will gradually increase to new high record levels, while at the same time we’ll see carbon emissions per person fall to new record low levels. America’s bright energy future continues to provide one of the best reasons to be optimistic and bullish about the U.S. economy.