Fracking Rule Could Slow Energy Revolution

March 24, 2015

Breaking Energy

Some important context to the new federal hydraulic fracturing rule announced by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The chart below shows the recent trend in federal onshore energy development:

It’s not an inspiring picture. Since BLM deals with onshore energy, let’s look at oil and natural gas output together, measured in barrels of oil equivalent (boe). Federal onshore production has declined from 1.8 million boe in fiscal year 2009 to 1.6 million boe in FY2014, a decline of 11.3 percent, according to federal data.

Breaking out the natural gas production figures, the decline is more dramatic. Onshore production of natural gas in federal areas fell from 8.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in FY2009 to 6.8 Bcf/d in FY2014, a drop of 21.6 percent.

The reason is federal policy. Whether you’re talking about access to reserves or permitting red tape, the bottom-line result is declining production.

More context: Contrast those numbers with what’s happened on state and private lands from FY2009 through FY2014. Again, oil and natural gas measured in millions of barrels of oil equivalent, we see production growing from 11.1 million boe in FY2009 to 17.4 million boe in FY2014, an increase of 57.4 percent...

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