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The Shale Gas Revolution Is Just Getting Started

William Pentland, Forbes

The shale gas revolution is turning ten years old and is apparently only just getting started.

A new report by the business information provider IHS Markit traces the remarkable rise of the shale gas in the United States over the past decade and projects that natural gas production will grow by another 60% over the next 20 years.

“To say that the ‘Shale Gale’. . . has been anything but a veritable revolution would be an understatement,” said Daniel Yergin, vice chairman, IHS Markit and co-author of the report. “It represents a dramatic and largely unanticipated turnaround that dramatically changed both markets and long-term thinking about energy.”

Shale gas has fundamentally altered the domestic energy landscape. The Northeast has replaced the Gulf Coast as the largest gas producing region in the United States. Pennsylvania and New York, which traditionally imported most of their energy, are becoming energy exporters.

IHS’s report considers the implications the ongoing shale gas boom will have for the U.S. economy and global energy markets.

Natural gas production in the United States rose by more than 40% between 2007 and 2017, pushing natural gas prices down by more than two thirds during the same period.

A decade after the start of a shale gas revolution, the overall size of recoverable natural gas reserves still seems to expand every year. Currently, IHS Markit estimates that a whopping 1,250 trillion cubic feet  of U.S. natural gas supply is economic below $4 per MMBtu Henry Hub price today, up from a previous estimate of 900 Tcf in 2010.

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