25 February 2014 – Though it is more science than art, “steady increases in the production of natural gas, crude oil and alternative-energy have moved the United States into a kind of energy renaissance.
That is the view of experts in the energy field who are not looking at a picture of swirling impressionist images but rather business charts containing hard numbers and educated predictions depicting surges in North American energy supplies into the next several decades.
“If you look at the U.S. Energy Information Administration website (www.eia.gov) and look at energy production, there is a hockey stick laying on top of the graph,” said Tupper Hull, spokesman with the Western States Petroleum Association.
The increases are good news for American energy independence, experts say, but the economic and job growth are not hitting California’s golden shores — at least not yet.
Growth in energy jobs have been clustered in Texas and North Dakota, Hull said. There, petroleum and natural gas deposits are unearthed using newer horizontal drilling techniques. Also, more creative instances of hydraulic fracturing using water and sometimes acid to loosen shale deposits have increased oil and natural gas production.
The energy boom in North Dakota has sent ripples throughout that state’s economy. Fast-food restaurants are handing out signing bonuses to fill positions.
Total crude oil production in the United States in 2013 reached 7.5 million barrels per day, an increase of 1 million, according to the EIA website. The EIA predicts domestic crude production to grow year-over-year another 1 million barrels per day this year, and reach 9.3 million barrels per day in 2015. If indeed that were to happen, that would be the highest yearly level of crude oil production in the U.S. since 1972, according to the EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook released Jan. 7.
Growth of crude oil production from the United States and Canada together for this year is predicted to account for 70 percent of all the supply growth not coming from an OPEC country.