U.S. #1: Overtakes Russia as Top Nat Gas Producer
BLOOMBERG -- The U.S. overtook Russia as the world’s largest natural-gas producer last year as U.S. suppliers tapped unconventional resources while demand in Russia plunged amid the country’s worst economic decline on record. U.S. output in January through October advanced 3.9% from a year earlier to 18.3 trillion cubic feet (519 billion cubic meters), according to the latest Department of Energy data. Russian output, about four-fifths of which comes from state-run OAO Gazprom, plunged 17 percent in the period to 462 billion cubic meters.MP: The chart above displays EIA data for annual "U.S. natural gas gross withdrawals," and shows an almost 3 trillion cubic feet increase in production since 2005 (a 12.5% increase).
“Minimal hurricane disruptions and significant growth in production from onshore shale basins have contributed to the increase in domestic supply,” the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency said on its Web site last month. The U.S. growth trend may indicate that Gazprom will not be able to break into the U.S. market as it had planned, Mikhail Korchemkin, head of East European Gas Analysis, said today by telephone today from Malvern, Pennsylvania.
The state-run Russian company set a target to take as much as 10% of the U.S. market by 2020 through sales of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, from Arctic deposits, Gazprom Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alexander Medvedev said in June.
The surprising boost shale gas has given U.S. output has closed the world’s biggest energy consumer to some imports and “created a huge oversupply of LNG in Europe,” Korchemkin said.
From my recent article in the Detroit News:
What's getting all of the attention recently is hydraulic fracturing, a process that involves injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals under high pressure to break through shale formations to reach enormous deposits of natural gas several miles underground. New advances in seismic imaging are used to find the shale gas, and horizontal drilling enables companies to reach the gas and bring it to the surface.
Largely through the use of these techniques, U.S. natural gas production has increased 40% in recent years, reversing what was once thought to be an irreversible decline in domestic drilling. Altogether there could be as much as 842 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in shales around the country, which is more energy than all of Saudi Arabia's oil.