The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

By the Energy Numbers: U.S. Prosperity

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 13, 2012

Rayola Dougher, API’s senior economics adviser, shared some important energy numbers with reporters during a conference call, connecting them with the potential for greater American prosperity in the future:

  • In 2012, U.S. oil production rose more than in any year since 1859, the year domestic oil production was born.
  • Liquid fuels production – primarily oil – has grown faster in the U.S. since 2008 than in any other country, according to IHS Global Insight.
  • The International Energy Agency says the U.S. could become the world’s largest oil producer in the second half of this decade and could be nearly self-sufficient by 2035.
  • The past four years the U.S. has increased crude oil production 28 percent and onshore natural gas production more than 27 percent.
  • U.S. oil production could increase 19 percent by 2019 and natural gas production 39 percent by 2040, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. EIA’s chart:


“Continuation of this trend is vital to America’s economic recovery and long-term prosperity. Recent energy projections and economic analysis suggest it can continue. They also suggest the United States can become far more energy self-sufficient. However, the right government policies will be important to facilitating this.”

Here’s how these numbers tie into growing American prosperity:

  • Jobs – IHS Global Insight says unconventional oil and natural gas account for 1.7 million jobs now, which it projects will grow to 3 million by the end of this decade and 3.5 million by 2035.
  • Revenues to government – IHS says shale energy development already has generated nearly $62 billion in federal, state and local tax receipts and could generate $2.5 trillion in cumulative tax receipts for those governments between 2012 and 2035. Case in point, North Dakota: A $1.6 billion surplus from oil revenues this year, on top of more than $1 billion in other oil-related revenues adding up in special funds.

This is a great story. But an even greater one is on the horizon, Dougher says:

“The emergence of a new era of oil and gas development has been a game-changer, but there is potentially much more to come because the United States has the energy reserves and the technology to step development up to a new level. And technology is key. It goes a long way to explaining why an energy revolution is happening in the United States instead of many other countries, and it can continue to help increase oil and gas production from our nation’s ample reserves.”

We have the energy reserves, and our industry is leading the way in terms of the exploration and development technologies to safely and responsibly deliver energy to the economy and individual Americans. A prosperous future built on American energy is possible with visionary leadership and pro-energy policies that will increase access to those ample reserves while creating an energy investment climate with a common-sense approach to regulation.


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.