The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Natural Gas: The 70 Percent

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 23, 2012

The outstanding statistic in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s preview of its 2012 Annual Energy Outlook is the forecast for natural gas. EIA says that gas from shale and tight gas will account for 70 percent of the United States’ overall natural gas supply in 2035. Here’s their chart:

You can see that there’s been a surge in shale gas production since roughly 2005. That coincides with a surge in new hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques, unlocking vast shale gas formations in states including Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Texas. Similar development is dawning in Ohio and other states, bringing energy, jobs and economic boom times. EIA:

Much of the growth in natural gas production is a result of the application of recent technological advances and continued drilling in shale plays with high concentrations of natural gas liquids and crude oil, which have a higher value in energy equivalent terms than dry natural gas. Shale gas production increases from 5.0 trillion cubic feet in 2010 (23 percent of total U.S. dry gas production) to 13.6 trillion cubic feet in 2035 (49 percent of total U.S. dry gas production).

Add in tight gas – natural gas extracted from other kinds of rock via fracking, and you get to 70 percent of the U.S. gas supply. It illustrates the essential link between hydraulic fracturing and the U.S. natural gas revolution – the game-changing development identified by a number of energy experts. Without hydraulic fracturing, there’s no natural gas revolution, no 70 percent in 2035.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.