Shale boom transforms US into world’s top oil & gas producer
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 13
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The shale boom has transformed the United States into the world’s top oil and gas producer and a leading exporter for the fuels, Trend reports citing the International Energy Agency (IEA), which has released its latest in-depth review of US energy policies.
As a result, the US approach to energy policy making has shifted from a mind-set of scarcity to one seeking to maximise the benefits of energy abundance, according to the report. US government policy reflects a strategy to boost energy production, benefit from greater energy exports, be a global leader in energy technologies and keep consumer energy bills in check.
“Since the last in-depth review five years ago, the United States has reshaped energy markets both domestically and around the world,” said Dr Fatih Birol. “In this context, the IEA commends the lifting of the US ban on crude oil exports as well as efforts to streamline regulatory approvals for LNG exports, which have helped bolster global energy security by diversifying supply options for importers.”
The IEA report notes that future production growth and exports will depend on the complementary buildout of oil and gas pipelines. Though the government has made efforts to streamline federal licensing for energy infrastructure, there remain cases of midstream infrastructure struggling to keep pace with shale production growth. Timely siting of gas pipelines will also help efforts to reduce gas-flaring rates from oil production.
The abundance of low-cost natural gas has resulted in gas-fired generation overtaking coal-fired generation in the power sector. At the same time, falling costs and policy support for renewable power have motivated a surge in wind and solar generation capacity. Consequently, coal and nuclear plants – which have long underpinned US electricity markets – are facing closures. The IEA recommends policy and regulatory responses to ensure a smooth transition in the electricity sector that fully leverages the growth in variable renewables while also ensuring the overall power system remains reliable and resilient.
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