The U.S. Energy Information Administration says there is now 2,200 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas in the U.S., while the country consumes about 1 percent of that annually, or 22 to 23 trillion cubic feet a year.
“Total shale gas production is increasing in terms of total U.S. production. We're a little over 30 percent,” said John Staub of the EIA. Just a dozen years ago, shale gas provided about 2 percent of U.S. natural gas production.
There's another side benefit of the gas production, the impact of which has yet to be seen.
"What's been a bigger surprise is what's been coming along with the natural gas itself—the natural gas liquids," said John Kilduff of Again Capital. "It's been a recent phenomena, but it's enough to put it on the radar screen."
Natural gas liquids are used in plastics production and are the equivalent of a high grade light crude.
Eoin Treacy's view Low US natural gas prices, increased global investment and production as well as the desire of more countries, particularly China, to pursue their own unconventional natural gas resources ensures that global supply is likely to be abundant for the foreseeable future. This poses challenges for countries such as Russia and Qatar.
It was only a few years ago that Russia was proposing to set up an equivalent to OPEC for natural gas, with itself as the leader. Since then Russia has shelved plans to invest in additional supply because prices are no longer attractive. Qatar is busy attempting to sign long-term contracts to lock in customers at today's prices and to insure against a future where price is set by the futures market.
US natural gas broke its short-term progression of higher reaction lows yesterday and a sustained move above $2.70 will be required to begin to suggest a return to demand dominance.