Energy Independence: The Charts That Tell Us Everything

Tom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Energy independence flows directly from the progress of the glorious shale revolution. The U.S. has gone from dependence to independence in only 12 years.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) put out a chart last week that depicts how we got to energy independence. It’s a combination of things, of course. Energy efficiency played a role. So did renewables. But, it’s natural gas, via the shale revolution, that’s been the biggest factor by far.

The story is revealed in this one chart, which I have modified to show what’s happened since about 2007 when the shale revolution was launched (I added the pink):

energy independenceNotice that energy consumption was at its widest divergence from production in 2007. Likewise, imports were at their widest divergence from exports at that time. The chart to the right shows we were at our worst point ever with respect to energy independence at the beginning of 2007. We were dependent on foreign sources of energy for 30% of our consumption.

That was a mere 12 years ago and look what the shale revolution wrought. We now produce the majority of the world’s natural gas, in fact, thanks to fracking. This hasn’t stopped Presidential candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, though, from promising to end it all the minute, God forbid, they’re elected.

This second EIA chart (modified to show onset of the shale revolution) is also illuminating:

energy independenceNotice how the shale revolution, starting in roughly 2007, created a resurge in natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids. This is what made the difference in energy independence.

Finally, take a look at this modified chart:

energy independenceNotice how natural gas took off in 2007. Consumption of oil came a bit later, following the economic recession and the development of the Bakken via fracking. Natural gas consumption has increased by roughly five times since 1950.

Renewables have also grown, by approximately four times since 1950, but those numbers presumably include hydroelectric power, which, for any number of reasons has relatively little room to grow.

Petroleum consumption has grown by about three times, but is still king of the hill. Altogether, natural gas and oil, now delivered mostly via fracking, together account for about 65% of energy consumption today compared to about 60% in 1950 and 2007.

Put it altogether and it’s easy to see what the shale revolution has done for America and it is simply astounding.

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7 thoughts on “Energy Independence: The Charts That Tell Us Everything

  1. all of that But we still live with Bad water the last eight years over Cabot oil & Gas ….Just show’s They can Care less
    Grosso & Morcom Farm Montrose Pa .

    • Tom loves to quote the huge amounts of gas produced.

      At What Cost?

      Gas is a polluting energy to extract and produce.
      We can not sacrifice our environment, water, air and lives for this energy.
      Like Ken Morcom says, “you don’t really care about the people”, in the killing fields of gas production.
      We are being sacrificed and the environment.
      That is why there is a worldwide movement to end fossil fuels.
      Fossil Fuels have polluted the Earth more than enough.
      Time to end this Fossil Fuel Era
      and move on to new energies and focus on that.

      Tom and his pro-gasers continue to promote a dying and polluting energy.

      These are modern times and need modern forms of energy.

  2. To put some real world perspective on what you Appalachian Basin folks are involved in gas-wise, take just six wells that have been producing for about 8 months … the Joeguswa 4 and 5 and Nickolyn 6 and 7 from Chesapeake in Sullivan and Susquehanna counties, and a pair of Carpenter wells in Greene county from EQT.

    These wells have now produced almost 47 Billion cubic feet of gas combined.
    This is enough fuel to provide a year’s worth of residential gas for the cities of Cleveland, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Newark COMBINED! … almost 2 million people!

    Just these 6 gas wells, in a few months’ time, costing about $60 million to drill and complete, can provide residential fuel for a year for millions of people.

  3. Pingback: Energy & Environmental Newsletter: September 30, 2019 - Master Resource

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