Yes, U.S. Oil and Gas Production Is Increasing, but Energy Efficiency Is Still the Number One Resource

ACEEE Blog
Posted on: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 6:30 AM

Author:

Steven Nadel

b-track.jpgA variety of recent articles have trumpeted how U.S. oil and gas production is up. For example, Daniel Yergin, in a New York Times op ed, notes that U.S. oil production has increased 1.6 million barrels per day since 1998 and that a further 0.6 million barrel increase may be possible this year. He also notes how shale gas is now 37% of U.S. production, up from 2% a dozen years ago. And he quotes President Obama as saying that shale gas development had by 2010 supported 600,000 jobs (this includes direct, indirect and induced jobs). EIA notes that U.S. oil production in the first quarter of 2012 is at the highest level since 1998. These increases are largely driven by advances in hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” allowing “tight oil” and shale gas to be profitably extracted.

While hydraulic fracturing goes back to the 1860s, and the U.S. government and the Gas Research Institute conducted critical research in the 1970s, the modern shale gas boom was made possible by a new hydraulic fracturing system developed by Mitchell Energy in 1997.

U.S. energy efficiency has also increased substantially since 1997. According to EIA, in 2011 the U.S. consumed 2,300 fewer Btu per dollar of GDP than in 1997—a 24% decline. These energy use reductions amount to the equivalent of 14.5 million barrels per day, dwarfing the increase in oil production and the amount of shale gas we currently produce.

Contributions Since 1997 of Domestic Oil, Gas and Energy Efficiency Resources to Meeting U.S. Energy Needs

Chart%20copy.jpg

Going forward, EIA, in their preliminary Annual Energy Outlook 2012, predicts that U.S. shale gas production will increase over the 2012–2035 period by the equivalent of nearly 3 million barrels of oil per day and U.S. oil production will increase by 0.24 million barrels per day. In comparison, a January 2012 study by ACEEE on long-term energy efficiency potential estimates that by 2050 we can use energy efficiency to reduce U.S. energy use, relative to a business-as-usual basecase, by 42–59%. In 2035, the midpoint estimate is equivalent to 17.5 million barrels per day. And this study further estimated that these energy efficiency investments and their resulting energy bill savings will support 1.3–1.9 million jobs in 2050.

So yes, recent increases in oil and gas production are important for the United States. But we should not lose sight of our #1 energy resource over the past several decades and well into the future: energy efficiency.

View article…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Grist

A nonprofit news org for people who want a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck.

My Planet Earth

Creating a Healthy Planet

Planet Earth Weekly

Climate Change and Renewable Energy: Saving Our Planet for Future Generations

Follow The Money

"It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here? What better time than now?"

Pedal and Plow

Cycling across South America to to discover what agriculture can be

BE CURIOUS

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has it's own reason for existing.

patricktsudlow

Patrick Sudlow's blog

The Common Constitutionalist - Let The Truth Be Known

Politics, current events, human interest & some humor

Midwest Naturalist

Living in harmony with our creator, his creation and all living things.

You Evolving

Science, Adventure, Philosophy, Personal Evolution

Road To Abundance

The Earth Is Full and There is More Than Enough to Spare

Seaspout

Ocean News & Views

Coal Action Network Aotearoa

Keep the Coal in the Hole!

Precarious Climate

A call for urgent action on climate change

The GOLDEN RULE

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” – George Orwell

Earth Report

Global Disaster Watch - An Overview

TheSurvivalPlaceBlog

Surviving The World As We Know It

manchester climate monthly

To inform, inspire and involve

DeepResource

Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

%d bloggers like this: