The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Industry

Growing U.S. Energy Self-Sufficiency

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 6, 2015

Statistics in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Monthly Energy Review for March show U.S. domestic energy production meeting about 89 percent of the country’s total energy demand. That’s up from 84 percent in 2013 and 2012 and reflects a key result of the domestic energy revolution: growing U.S. self-sufficiency.

Two charts. First, EIA data showing U.S. energy production as a percentage of total demand:

output

The top, heavier blue line is total U.S. energy production (fossil fuels, nuclear electric power and renewables – again, as a percentage of total U.S. energy demand. Domestic production’s share was about 69 percent in 2005 and it grew to about 89 percent last year. The lighter blue line below it is the share of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal) as a percentage of overall demand. Fossil fuels accounted for approximately 55 percent in 2005, growing to about 70 percent last year.

A second chart, from EIA’s report, shows the long-term trend lines for each of the fuel sources:

source

Noteworthy are the output lines over the past decade for domestic crude oil and natural gas plant liquids (broken dark purple line) and natural gas (broken green line). Both are soaring. It’s a snapshot of surging domestic oil and natural production – the main engine of the U.S. energy revolution – and the leading reason the U.S. has become more self-sufficient.

In many ways energy self-sufficiency equates to energy security. The more of our energy needs met domestically – by an all-of-the-above range of sources – the less dependent the United States is on imported energy and its considerations. This is reflected in EIA numbers on falling net imports (Table 1.1, Page 3). The more energy we produce here at home, the more secure we are in the world.  

There’s not a lot of mystery about the components of America’s energy renaissance: vast reserves of oil and natural gas, safely produced from shale and other tight-rock formations with advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Shale energy has rewritten the U.S. energy narrative while boosting the economy. EIA reports that last year the U.S. enjoyed the largest volume increase in crude oil production since records started being kept in 1900, increasing 1.2 million barrels per day to 8.7 million barrels per day.

It’s a story that can continue to grow – with greater access to reserves, both offshore and onshore. Planning is key, because pro-growth energy decisions must be made now for oil and natural gas production in the future.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joins API after spending 16 years as national editorial writer in the Washington Bureau of The Oklahoman newspaper. In all, he has been a reporter and editor for more than 30 years, including six years as sports editor at The Washington Times. He lives in Occoquan, Virginia, with his wife Pamela. Mark graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in journalism and earned a masters in journalism and public affairs at American University. He's currently working on a masters in history at George Mason University, where he also teaches as an adjunct professor in the Communication Department.

Energy Tomorrow is a project of the American Petroleum Institute – the only national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry – speaking for the industry to the public, Congress and the Executive Branch, state governments and the media.