Country intelligence report: USA

The U.S. is now one of the major oil and gas producing countries of the world. The shale fracking revolution brought the country to where it is today.

By Eric R. Eissler March 23, 2015

The U.S. has emerged as one of the world’s premier oil and gas producers. It was once the world’s biggest consumer, relying on foreign oil to power the county and the economy, the latter of which was vulnerable to politics and events in the Middle East, from where the country sourced most of its imports. Now, the tables are turned and the U.S. has become the largest producer of crude oil in the World, surpassing Saudi Arabia. The volatile price of oil has hurt many companies around the world, and they have begun to scale back and cut spending. However, this is just a part of the cyclical nature of the oil and gas industry. The U.S. may end up as the jewel in the crown of North American energy production, along with Canada and Mexico. 

Basic Facts:

Capital: Washington, D.C.

Population: 318,892,103 (CIA World Factbook) 

Quick Figures: All figures provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration

– Drilling continues to increase despite the lower price of oil by a 22-barrel average per day compared to March, with the highest increase in the Permian Basin at 38 more barrels of oil per day (bopd).

– The increase comes from producers trying to squeeze out as much profit as possible during the lower prices. This increase fuels the supply glut that keeps the price of oil low.

– Texas was the leading oil-producing state in 2013.

– Texas accounted for about 29% of U.S. marketed natural gas production in 2013. This made it the largest natural gas producer in the country.

– The top-five energy producing states in 2012 by energy production (all forms) are:

  • Texas 18%
  • Wyoming 12.2% (89% of energy derived from coal)
  • Pennsylvania 6.0%
  • Louisiana 4.8%
  • West Virginia 4.7% 

Hydrocarbons: All figures provided by the BP Statistical Review

Oil reserves at end of 2013: 44.2 billion barrels of oil

Oil production in 2013: 10 million bopd

Natural gas reserves at end of 2013 : 9.3 tcm

Natural gas production in 2013: 687.6 bcm 

Major companies working in the country:

  • Halliburton
  • Schlumberger
  • Aramco
  • BP
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Shell
  • Chevron
  • WorleyParsons
  • BHP Billiton
  • Weatherford
  • Marathon
  • Hess Corporation
  • Occidental Petroleum
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Devon Energy
  • Noble Energy 

Major Projects:

– LNG plants are a major goal for the U.S. as there are 25 planned for the Gulf Coast. Five have been approved by the Department of Energy (DOE) and seven are awaiting approval. Of the five that have been approved, the Freeport LNG terminal is already underway and slated for completion by 2019. This is a three-train LNG plan situated on the Gulf Coast of Texas. The plant has a capacity of 13.2 million metric tonnes of LNG per year–a processing capacity of 56.6 mcm per year. Research from the U.S. DOE has shown that natural gas prices in are almost one-third of those in Europe. LNG from the U.S. to Europe could be supply for the continent that is trying to diversify its energy resources from Russia. Russia supplies Europe with nearly one-third of its natural gas supply.

– The litigious Keystone XL pipeline is another major pending project that is being held up in Washington. It is a multi-phase pipeline that when completed will run from Hardisty, Alberta, to Houston, Texas, via Baker, Montana. The pipeline is to facilitate transporting crude oil from the Canadian tar sands to refineries in Houston. However, its fate is at loggerheads between Congress and the president.

– Offshore field development in general is also a major area in which producers are engaging in the U.S. The Gulf of Mexico has massive potential for hydrocarbons. An example of one of these new projects is the Kaskida oilfield 205 miles southwest of New Orleans. It is owned and operated by super-major BP with a 70% stake and U.S. independent Devon Energy with a 30% share. The field has an estimated reserve of 3 billion barrels in-situ. 

– Eric R. Eissler, editor-in-chief, Oil & Gas Engineering, eeissler@cfemedia.com 

Original content can be found at Oil and Gas Engineering.