"The ironies here are richer than the shale deposits in North Dakota's Bakken formation. While Washington has tried to force-feed renewable energy with tens of billions in special subsidies, oil and natural gas production has boomed thanks to private investment. And while renewable technology breakthroughs never seem to arrive, horizontal drilling and hydraulic facturing have revolutionized oil and gas extraction -- with no Energy Department loan guarantees needed.Hooah!
The oil and gas rush has led to a jobs boom. North Dakota has the nation's lowest jobless rate, at 3.5%, and the state now has some 200 rigs pumping 440,000 barrels of oil a day, four times the amount in 2006 (see chart above). The state reports more than 16,000 current job openings, and places like Williston have become meccas for workers seeking jobs that often pay more than $100,000 a year.
I noted in posting yesterday, 2,000 job openings/day in the Williston Basin. I guess I was wrong.
And then this, also from same sources: net oil imports only 45 percent of US consumption; lowest since 1995.
The good news is that the United States is at the center of a global energy revolution. Our development of innovative shale-gas technology offers the prospect of a huge bonanza of natural gas (and some oil as well). It's the most positive event in the country's energy outlook in 50 years. Let's celebrate the achievement before looking at what needs to be done to bring it to fruition.I did not know that. Did you? That the US has surpassed Russia as the world's leading gas producer.
This kind of seismic shift in the energy landscape is rare. It could bring us back to the time when the US and its neighbors in the hemisphere were self-sufficient and even a major world source of energy. Energy companies have become exporters, as the US has surpassed Russia as the world's leading gas producer.