A Promising Future for U.S. Shale
Natural gas production from U.S. shale fields can keep growing for decades, giving Washington a powerful diplomatic tool to counter the geopolitical influence of other energy exporters such as Russia, according to industry executives and government officials.
The United States can expand shale gas output another 60 percent in the coming decades, according to at least one estimate. So far, liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been spared from retaliatory tariffs in U.S. President Donald Trump's intensifying trade conflicts with China and other countries.
"We see a century of natural gas supply in U.S. shale," said Ryan Lance, CEO of ConocoPhillips (COP)."Shale's abundance is real and it's not going away."
The United States currently produces about 72 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas each day, a figure that is expected to grow by 7 bcf per day this year.
While Trump's tariffs against China, Europe, Mexico, Canada and others have cast a short-term pall over Washington's energy ambitions, the administration has said it is eager to expand fossil fuel supplies to global allies through supply agreements and technology sharing. Trump is also rolling back domestic regulations to encourage more oil and gas production.
The strategy, which Trump dubs "energy dominance," is aimed at making the United States a viable alternative to rival energy producers like Russia, as Washington seeks to forge bonds with big consumers like China.
"We're sharing our energy value with the world," said Rick Perry, the U.S. secretary of energy.
Reporting by Ernest Scheyder