For half a century, the global energy supply's center of gravity has been the Middle East. But that's about to change, according to Amy Myers Jaffe, the Baker Institute's Wallace S. Wilson Fellow in Energy Studies and director of the Energy Forum.
In an article for Foreign Policy, Jaffe predicts the rise of the Americas on the world energy stage. The reasons? The ascendancy of shale gas and improved drilling technology, as well as declining oil production in the Middle East coupled with political turmoil. She writes:
"With the help of horizontal drilling and other innovations, shale gas production in the United States has skyrocketed from virtually nothing to 15 to 20 percent of the U.S. natural gas supply in less than a decade. By 2040, it could account for more than half of it. This tremendous change in volume has turned the conversation in the U.S. natural gas industry on its head; where Americans once fretted about meeting the country's natural gas needs, they now worry about finding potential buyers for the country's surplus."