The U.S. oil and gas boom
The U.S. oil and gas boom / J. Brodman, Actuelles de l’Ifri, janvier 2012, 5 p.
A funny thing happened in the last few years when no one was paying attention. J.R. Ewing, the legendary Texas oilman, and his wife Sue Ellen sold Southfork, their ranch near Dallas, and moved to a new home in Pennsylvania (Northfork?). JR immediately began buying subsurface mineral rights for acres of land above the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in the Appalachian Basin. Cliff Barnes, J.R.’s nemesis, sold all his Texas properties and moved to North Dakota, where he started leasing mineral rights to acreage above the Bakken shale play. Bobby, J.R.’s stepbrother, stayed in Texas, but moved from Dallas to the Eagle Ford area near the SE border with Mexico. What’s going on here? Where are all the Texas oilmen going? What’s going on is nothing short of a revolution in U.S., Lower-48 oil and natural gas production that is quickly transforming the energy sector. This transformation, while important for the oil market, is likely to be spectacularly more evolutionary in natural gas markets, both here and abroad. New production technologies have arrived at a time when the whole world is looking for cleaner-burning fuels, and they may usher in a new golden era for natural gas as a bridge fuel to a cleaner, more-sustainable energy future…