Business

2013: Not The Year Of Shale

Hydraulic fracturing — "fracking" for short — is helping energy companies to unlock domestic oil and gas formations long considered inaccessible. But such fuels still account for only a fragment of total U.S. production.

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Wayne Wilson is a managing director in the Houston office of business consulting firm UHY Advisors. He says that, while oil produced by fracking is starting to come online, it remains very expensive.

“Oil production through shale — it’s not significant enough that, if you look at the total amount of crude oil that the United States is using, it comes anywhere near a 25% number. It’s a very, very small percentage.”

Wilson says the U.S. now derives about 25% of its natural gas from shale, and that percentage is increasing rapidly. So much so that the supply of gas is far outpacing demand.

“We’re seeing an increase in some usage for electrical production, but in heavy industry, we have not seen the shift to natural gas, mainly because of the investment required, and the fact that the shift in supply has occurred concurrently with an economic downturn in the United States.”

As Wilson puts it, 2013 will not be the year of shale.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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