January 2016: U.S. becomes energy superpower

Marita Noon(Photo: (Photo: Energy Makes America Great Inc.))

For years, American energy policy was dictated by expected scarcity. But that all changed when the techniques of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing were successfully combinedallowing previously unrecoverable oil and natural gas to be extractedunleashing the new era of American energy abundance. When the oil export ban was lifted on December 18, it represented the first big energy policy shift in decades.

Despite predictions that, given how flooded the global crude markets were, lifting the oil export ban wasnt likely to translate into any immediate exports, the first shipments of U.S. crude oil in more than 40 years have already left our shores heading to Europe. On New Years Eve, a tankerthe Theo T.pulled out of Corpus Christi, Texas, with roughly 400,000 barrels of crude supplied by ConocoPhillips from the Eagle Ford Shale. Saturday morning, January 9, the second tanker, the Angelica Schulte, left the Houston ship channel after Enterprise Products Partners loaded it with 600,000 barrels of light crude oil.

As early as next week, the first ever tanker of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the lower 48 states could head out filled with U.S. shale gas. (LNG exports have not been restricted by law or regulation. However, a decade ago, it was predicted that the U.S. would be importing 25 percent of our natural gas. LNG import terminals were built. Now, because the U.S. shale boom displaced the need for LNG imports....

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