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Editorial Comment

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported in April that the US set records for natural gas production in 2017. Gas production measured as gross withdrawals reached 90.9 Bft3d last year, the highest volume on record. The country’s gas production, when measured as marketed natural gas production, also reached a new yearly high of 78.9 Bft3d.

As US gas production expanded, exports of both pipeline gas and LNG increased, for a combined expansion of 36%. LNG exports nearly quadrupled. The increases in production and export volumes led the US to become a net natural gas exporter in 2017 for the first time in almost 60 yr.

At the World Gas Conference (WGC) in Washington DC in late June, US Energy Secretary Rick Perry delivered a keynote address wherein he stated that the US gas industry has gone through a “fascinating transformation” that is “nothing short of spectacular.” Innovation in hydraulic fracturing technology has “helped unleash America’s natural gas revolution.”

ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Darren Woods, who also addressed attendees during the Conference, said that the US shale gas revolution has boosted the US economy, transformed markets around the world and helped mitigate climate change. Mr. Woods noted that maintaining high hydrocarbon production volumes while simultaneously reducing emissions is a “dual challenge” for the worldwide energy industry. To this end, ExxonMobil R&D is focusing on carbon capture and storage in power generation, among other initiatives. GP

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Editorial Comment
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