New Gas to the Rescue

Engineers have performed their magic once again. The world is not going to run short of energy as soon as feared. Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive, said proven natural gas reserves around the world have risen to 1.2 trillion barrels of oil equivalent, enough for 60 years’ supply – and rising fast.

“There has been a revolution in the gas fields of North America. Reserve estimates are rising sharply as technology unlocks unconventional resources,” he said. This is almost unknown to the public.

As for the U.S., we may soon be looking at an era when gas, wind and solar power, combined with a smarter grid and a switch to electric cars returns the country to near energy self-sufficiency.

~Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the U.K. Telegraph

MP: The chart above shows monthly U.S. natural gas imports back to January 1985 and through July 2009 (EIA data here). Imports in May of this year (258,033 MMcfs) were at a level last seen almost 11 years ago, in November 1998 (see bottom red line in graph). On a 12-month moving average basis (to smooth out the monthly variations), natural gas imports have fallen this summer to the same level as January 2001, almost nine year ago (see top red line in graph).

About Mark J. Perry 262 Articles

Affiliation: University of Michigan

Dr. Mark J. Perry is a professor of economics and finance in the School of Management at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan.

He holds two graduate degrees in economics (M.A. and Ph.D.) from George Mason University in Washington, D.C. and an MBA degree in finance from the Curtis L. Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Since 1997, Professor Perry has been a member of the Board of Scholars for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a nonpartisan research and public policy institute in Michigan.

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