One of the more exciting stories being extracted from the Bakken is natural gas. Although volumetrically it doesn’t compare to the Bakken’s crude, the natural gas plays are creating a culture of innovation that will completely transform how people live their daily lives. Many energy experts and professionals believe this “natural” shift is happening across the planet and will continue over the next decade as infrastructure is built. And the Bakken will offer a front row seat in the creation of an economic energy nucleus that will be connected to a bigger system, yet somewhat sustainable within its own energy cycle.
“The shales plays have been a paradigm shift in our industry, we always knew there was gas in the shale, but we couldn’t economically get that gas out now with the technologies of horizontal drilling and the continued ability to use fracking, which isn’t new as we’ve been fracking for 25 years,” Ron Jibson, past chairman of American Gas Association said. “With those technologies we are able to get the gas out of the shales very economically. As a result of that you have an abundance of natural gas that we’ve never had before.”
Jibson’s claim towards an abundance is undeniable as the U.S. recently became the world-leader in natural gas production, by reaching a new all-time high of 328 billion cubic feet per day (BCPD), according to the BP 2014 statistical world energy review. Furthermore, U.S. natural gas production has grown over 20 percent the past five years and the world’s usage of natural gas is about 24 percent of all primary energy consumed. Oil is approximately 33 percent and coal’s is 30 percent.
Natural gas trends are off the chart considering the U.S. has surpassed once global leaders Russia, Qatar and Iran in production gains. The capturing of natural gas, as a by-product to the massive shale expansion, seems likely to continue its prodigious growth in the Bakken and across the planet.