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.
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).