The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Op-ed: "The Coming Age of Natural Gas"

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted March 19, 2010

As we've discussed on this blog, advanced technologies like hydraulic fracturing have led to a boom in U.S. natural gas production, increasing supplies and propelling our nation to the world's largest natural gas producer.

Another voice also is singing the praises of this clean-burning energy resource.

An op-ed titled, "The Coming Age of Natural Gas," authored by New York geologist and petroleum engineer Scott B. Cline, discusses natural gas as a game-changer for our energy future and the economic prosperity development can bring to New York and our nation.

Cline says:

"...America sits atop much of those resources and the fruits of that extraction will once again help propel America to energy prosperity and security. Dominant global competitive advantage, jobs, tax revenue and prosperity may result for many generations to come."

"Over time, the potential economic impact to New York alone would be enormous possibly totaling nearly a trillion New York generated dollars of ultimate revenue generated, over a hundred billion dollars in royalty to New York land owners and an economic multiplier effect to the entire economy."

Further, a new CERA study says U.S. shale deposits could meet the nation's natural gas demand for more than 100 years. And Cline mentions that "NY alone may have up to 160 trillion cubic feet--7 years total current US natural gas consumption--of shale gas reserves in the Marcellus alone and possibly even more in the Utica shale."

Cline also talks about the misconceived environmental concerns associated with shale gas development:

"...fears of environmental ruin, undrinkable water, pollution and the like are largely unfounded, exaggerated and commingled with uninformed concerns about processes not unique to shale gas development. Horizontal drilling and stimulation is safe."

The nation has seen the benefits of natural gas and shale gas production in places like the Haynesville and Barnett Shales. As Cline says, let's remove stumbling blocks to production "as the shale gas revolution accelerates."