First Houston Chronicle Column: Export Crude and Technology

The next big thing for oil and gas drillers will be Mexico. Or maybe China. But then, East Africa is showing some promise. And we can’t forget about the Norwegians. They’re producing a lot of oil and gas these days from some very old wells.

If you thought the Eagle Ford Shale was the only new oil and gas play in the world, you’re not keeping up. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are opening up previously unreachable petroleum reserves around the globe.

Tapping those reserves will be necessary to meet global demand, which is expected to grow by 41 percent over the next 20 years, according to the BP Energy Outlook 2035, an annual industry forecast watched by analysts.

These drilling techniques offer the United States a chance to produce more energy than it needs by 2035. Meeting global demand offers Texas oil and gas companies enormous opportunities, but only if Congress allows American crude oil and natural gas to be sold freely on the international market, and the industry develops technology that answers the public’s concerns about the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing.

With Russian President Vladimir Putin using his petroleum reserves as a diplomatic sword and shield to do battle with the West, we do ourselves and our allies a disservice by boycotting the global energy market.
May 10, 2014
Houston Chronicle