The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Shale Oil and Gas Are America’s Energy Future

Kate Wallace

Kate Wallace
Posted August 22, 2016

Shale oil and natural gas will continue to be major players in the U.S. energy mix for many years to come. In its 2016 Annual Energy Outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts U.S. tight oil production to reach 7.08 million barrels per day and shale gas production to reach 79 billion cubic feet in 2040. In 2015, tight oil accounted for 52% of crude oil production and shale gas accounted for 50% of natural gas production. This is all possible because of technology advances and innovations in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

chart: US tight oil production

Shale production has allowed the U.S. to become a global leader of oil and natural gas production. In turn, consumers benefit from more affordable, reliable energy to heat their homes and fuel their cars. Technological advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have also reduced the overall environmental impact of the oil and gas industry.  And abundant natural gas has led to fewer greenhouse gas emissions in the electric power sector, as the leading driver in  reducing emissions to 20 year lows. The safe and responsible development of shale oil and gas is crucial to the future of America’s energy future.

chart: US shale gas production


Kate Wallace is an associate of research and content development for the American Petroleum Institute. Before joining API she was a researcher and policy analyst at America’s Natural Gas Alliance, and worked on pollinator conservation programs and state wildlife conservation policies before entering the energy industry. Kate graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in Resource Economics, and earned her Master of Public Administration from George Mason University. She loves taking her dogs on hikes, travelling and navigating the northern Virginia/DC craft beer and wine scenes with her friends and family.