Why America Is The World's True Energy Superpower


In my previous article, I addressed the notion that Denmark is leading the U.S. in wind power. As I pointed out, in 2014 the U.S. produced 183.6 Terawatt-hours (TWh) of wind power, which was the most ever for any country in the world, and nearly 14 times greater than Denmark’s 13.2 TWh of production.

But misconceptions abound about other types of energy production. Many people believe that Iceland leads the world in geothermal power, or that France leads the world in nuclear power production. These beliefs are pervasive, but untrue in an absolute sense. In fact, according to last year’s BP Statistical Review of World Energy, the U.S. was ranked:

#1 in oil production
#1 in natural gas production
#1 in nuclear power
#1 in wind power
#1 in geothermal power
#1 in biofuels
#2 in coal production
#4 in hydropower
#5 in solar power

It may be surprising that the U.S. jumped ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia to regain the crown it had held decades ago as the world’s top oil producer, but that requires some context. “Oil” in the BP Statistical Review is defined as “crude oil, tight oil, oil sands and natural gas liquids.” Most of the increase in U.S. oil production over the past decade was a result of increases in tight oil production in shale formations like the Bakken and Eagle Ford, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) production from shale gas drilling in places like the Marcellus Shale. Between 2008 and 2014 U.S. oil production increased by 4.9 million barrels per day (bpd), but 1.2 million bpd of that total was NGLs. Without the NGLs the U.S. would have been behind Saudi Arabia, and possibly Russia as well in total oil production. (by Robert Rapier , CONTRIBUTOR, Forbes Magazine)

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