U.S. at cusp of natural gas revolution?

Nov. 9, 2011 at 9:30 AM
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HOUSTON, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- There's no reason why the United States can't take advantage of what's described as a natural gas revolution, the head of Chesapeake Energy said from Houston.

The United States sits on some of the largest deposits of shale natural gas in the world. T. Boone Pickens, a Texas oil magnate, said abundant gas reserves in the United States make the country the "Saudi Arabia of natural gas."

Aubrey McClendon, chief executive at Chesapeake Energy, said he expects to see a shift in demand for natural gas during the next 10 years.

"The United States is in the early stages of a natural gas demand revolution," he was quoted by the Platts news service as saying.

Coaxing natural gas out of shale deposits to meet that demand, however, is controversial. Critics complain the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid could find their way into drinking water supplies. Advocates said there's no risk if the process is done correctly.

McClendon, whose company holds acreage in the rich Utica shale deposit, said there's no reason why the United States can't usher in a new natural gas era.

"I believe this country is capable of producing as much gas as it puts its mind to," he said.

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