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Report: Shale could redefine U.S. economy

Oct. 24, 2012 at 7:56 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- The shale oil and natural gas sector in the United States could contribute nearly $500 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product by 2035, an analysis states.

A report from research company IHS says growth in unconventional oil and gas production in the United States could be a key driver in future economic growth.

Daniel Yergin, author of the report, said the boom in oil and gas production from shale plays in the United States is redefining the country's energy sector.

"The United States currently has the highest rate of growth in crude oil production capacity in the world and is virtually self-sufficient in natural gas, except for some gas from Canada," he said in a statement. "This is a stark contrast from when, prior to the unconventional revolution, it was expected that the U.S. would soon become heavily dependent on gas imports."

Oil production from unconventional plays for 2012 is expected to reach 2 million barrels per day and attain the 4.4 million bpd mark by 2020. In terms of unconventional gas, production could account for as much as 75 percent of the natural gas production in the country -- about 76 billion cubic feet per day -- by 2035.

IHS says unconventional energy activity will add $247 billion to gross domestic product in 2012, an amount expected to reach $475 billion by 2035.

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