Monday, January 7, 2013

Awash in Oil, U.S. and Utah Set a New Course

When it comes to oil, a dramatic shift is under way in America, and Utah is playing a role.

Improved technology in both the oil fields and under vehicle hoods are big reasons why rising energy
production in the state and nationally is helping the country not only more than meet demand but also is putting it on course to reduce oil imports to historic levels.

Along the way, gas prices have fallen 50 cents or more in the state in the past month as oil stockpiles
grow, reducing the pressure on fuel costs, at least for the time being.

This year, Utah crude oil production is estimated to top 29 million barrels, marking a steady increase
since 1989. By comparison, the lowest output according to record-keeping going back 36 years came in 2003 at 13 million barrels, when drillers ran into a familiar boom-and-bust cycle common in the U.S. oil industry. Highs were registered in 1985 (41 million barrels) and in 1976 (35.4 million barrels).

"Historically, we’ve had more than one boom-and-bust cycle," said John Rogers, associate director of the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining. "But production has steadily been increasing recently, largely through better technology."

In fact, production is up in the country a whole to a level that the United States could overtake Saudi
Arabia to become the world’s biggest oil producer before 2020, and might be energy independent a
decade later, according to a recent forecast by the International Energy Agency.

The radical reshaping of the nation’s energy picture means that the U.S. could become a net exporter of oil around 2030, the global organization said. Salt Lake Tribune