06 March 2013 03:37 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--With the advent of shale in the US, unconventional oil and natural gas is upending supply economics and truly transforming the chemical business and other downstream industries, an ExxonMobil Chemical executive said on Tuesday.
“The world is on the cusp of a new age of unconventional energy,” CEO Stephen Pryor said during IHS CERAWeek. “The prospective impact is unlike anything we have seen in this country since the dawning of the age of oil some 150 years ago.”
US crude production in 2012 increased by nearly 800,000 bbl/day, or about 14% year on year, the largest increase in oil output since oil was first drilled in 1859, Pryor said.
Furthermore, the US is importing less crude oil from 60% in 2005 to 40% last year, he added. That figure is expected to drop to 32% next year.
“That is the power of American ingenuity operating in a free market,” Pryor said. “Our policy debates have shifted from discussions of scarcity to American energy abundance and the profound benefits it can have on the economy and the environment.”
In addition, unconventional oil and gas activity created about 9% of all new US jobs in 2011, Pryor said. It now supports over 1.7m US jobs and is expected to reach 3m by the end of the decade.
Many groups have estimated that real GDP in the US will increase by 2-3% per year by the end of the decade as a result of higher production of oil and gas, contributing $600bn (€462bn) per year of additional economic output, he added
Also, natural gas is a cleaner and more efficient substitute for coal as US carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are at their lowest in two decades and as natural gas consumes less than half of the water required by coal, he said.
“For these reasons, unconventional oil and a gas is the most important energy innovation in the 21st century,” Pryor said.
IHS CERAWeek is an energy conference that runs through Friday.
($1 = €0.77)
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