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Open Access Publications from the University of California

North American Resources and Gas Supply to the State of California

  • Author(s): Medlock, Kenneth B., III
  • et al.

The last decade has been witness to an incredible transformation in the US energy fortune. The combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in upstream operations targeting ultra-low porosity, ultra-low permeability hydrocarbon bearing shale formations has unlocked a bounty of natural gas and crude oil resource. This transformative innovation has literally turned the US energy market on its head. Fewer than ten years ago a number of large capital players were developing liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminals with an eye toward importing large volumes of natural gas to the US from distant locations. Today, there is a prevailing expectation that the US will soon be an exporter of LNG, largely due to the rapid growth in natural gas production from shale that has occurred in the last 8 years (see Figure 1). In fact, US gross natural gas production has risen from an annual average rate of 64.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2005 to 82.7 bcfd in 2013, driven primarily by growth in production from shale from less than 4 bcfd to over 31 bcfd.

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