Print Edition

  Email News Updates

Shale Natural-Gas and Oil Boom is a Great Development

By Tom Morgan

Date:

There is a phenomenal development afoot. It is delivering benefits to you. Many people want to stop it. But they will fail.

The development is oil and natural gas. On this continent. New technologies have brought forth at least 100 years’ supply of natural gas for us. So much natural gas has been uncovered that its price has fallen 75 percent on the market. (A pity for those who claim big outfits conspire to fix energy prices.)

New technologies have located and tapped vast oil reserves in North Dakota. This is apparently the fourth largest oil find in our history. Some engineers predict it will become the largest ever. 

Such technologies are creating new oil and gas sources in Europe, the UK, Brazil, Argentina, and other parts of the world. Just as other technologies have turned Canada’s oil sands into an immense pool of oil.

In recent years, about 6,000 new oil wells have been drilled in North Dakota. Ninety percent of them make money. That’s an incredibly high percentage in the history of oil drilling. Within two decades there may be nearly 50,000 wells in the state. 

Here are some of the benefits. We worry that unfriendly foreigners who provide us with oil hold the U.S. to ransom. They abuse us — because we need their oil. In 2005, we had to import 60 percent of our oil from offshore. Today the figure is 49 percent. And, it’s falling rapidly.

More abundant oil and gas around the world will ease tensions. It will stifle oil powers like Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya, and
Venezuela. Today, we worry about conflicts in the Middle East — because so much of the world’s oil comes from that region. With oil and gas coming online from many other regions, the bad guys will have far less clout. And, they will have less money with which to fund their mischief.

Many electric companies are converting old coal-powered plants to the new inexpensive natural gas. You get lower-cost electricity. You get cleaner air. Meanwhile, our industries are enjoying lower energy costs. That is good for all of us.

All this oil and natural gas has the greens pulling out their hair. You can understand their predicament. Cheap and abundant oil and gas make solar and biofuels and wind less competitive. Those renewable-energy sources need to be heavily subsidized as it is. 

The greens staked a lot on the theory that oil and gas production had peaked. Well, it has not. The peak-oil theorists did not foresee that new technologies would push peak oil far into the future.

The greens also believed scientists who told us carbon emissions cause global warming. Many other scientists have shot holes in those theories, rapidly slowing the drive to limit carbon emissions.

The greens decry the new technologies. They will pollute our water, they insist. They may be right in some instances. And, nobody can argue that oil, gas, and mineral developers have pristine track records. My point is simply that the greens will be no match for the force of cheap and abundant energy. They may win a skirmish here and there. But, they will lose the battle.

Drilling technology is radically changing the global energy game. It will strengthen us and our allies in many ways. It will sap much of the power of those who wish to thwart us and bleed us. It will lower a number of the pressures that have led us into or threatened us with war. It will lower the cost of heating our homes.

And, never forget what is most important to millions of Americans: It will put more folks behind the wheel of SUVs and big pickup trucks. 

They are doing a victory lap, along with those who favor oil and gas. I don’t believe this is a lap the greens will toast.

From Tom...as in Morgan.                      


Tom Morgan writes about financial and other subjects from his home near Oneonta, in addition to his radio shows and new TV show. For more information about him, visit his website at www.tomasinmorgan.com 

Thank You For Visiting CNYBJ.com