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the american energy renaissance

The American Energy Renaissance

Written By: Christopher Mohler

Perhaps the most groundbreaking development to unfold in the petrochemical industry over the past few years has been the rise of the United States as a global leader in oil and gas production. Oil and natural gas drilling has experienced a revival, especially in southern Texas and North Dakota. The boom has brought jobs and economic stimulation to areas like these, and many industry experts are confident that the growth will continue into the next several decades. Emerging sources of renewable energy have added to the expansion as well. Modern technology is the most frequently cited catalyst behind the revolution, unlocking natural resources that would otherwise be inaccessible for extraction. Not only is this technology enhancing the ability to obtain it, but it is working to make the entire process more environmentally friendly as well. The future seems bright and promising for American petrochemical manufacturers, and here is why were in the midst of the american energy renaissance.


The use of water in oil/natural gas production is one of the ways in which the industry is making progress. Companies are pushing to find new ways to source and recycle water used in the petrochemical industry, which would result in waste reductions and environmental benefits. Ambient Water Corporation is pioneering methods of what they call atmospheric water generation technology, drawing clean water from humidity in the atmosphere. They estimate that their Ambient Water 400 system is capable of extracting 1,060 liters of water per day with a 68°F temperature and 60% humidity. Revolutionary innovations like this have the potential to be used in a multitude of industries. Some wells will use water to flush the oil out of hard-to-reach places deep beneath the surface of the Earth. Organic microbes can grow when they contact oil molecules, pushing the oil molecules out. These microbes are also capable of creating more pathways for oil, which allows for much more oil to reach the surface.

Monitoring Technology

Monitoring technology is also evolving, enabling workers to observe the operation of the well and ensure that it’s operating as efficiently as possible. New software systems provide more accurate data concerning the topography around a drill site, which allows engineers to have a more precise understanding of how to maximize efficiency. It has also helped- and is expected to continue to help- companies balance their cost and production. A company called WellDog was founded in 1999 with the goal of developing new methods to extract natural gas from coal formations underground. They joined forces with Royal Dutch Shell, discovering ways to use lasers to locate rock formations. This informations allows them to make better decisions concerning the location of a drill. Changes in the properties of photons bounce from the rock formations back up the the surface, where an engineer can analyze the data. Software that can detect topography, locate oil/natural gas deposits thousands of feet beneath the Earth, and monitor the productivity of the drills are all indicators of the role of computers in petrochemical manufacturing. The importance of “big data” in the continued surge of energy production has been stressed by the world’s leading experts. As a result, more and more oil/gas manufacturing companies are adopting the new digital tools and taking advantage of what they can offer. The most recent generations of employees are particularly eager to apply familiar technological principles to their line of work. The Society of Petroleum Engineers started the Petroleum Data Driven Analytics Group {PD2A} to gather supporters of digital analytics together.

A prime example of the oil boom is the Bakken oil field in North Dakota and Montana. Around the middle of the 1990s, it was estimated that there were around 151 millions barrels of oil available in the field. However, this figure changed greatly by technological innovation. A later estimate in 2008 indicated that there were approximately 3-4.3 billion barrels of attainable oil in the Bakken. That’s an increase of over 25 times that earlier estimate. Then, in 2011, another consultant predicted that the field held as much as 24 billion barrels. The much more conservative estimates from the 1990s were due to the act that a sizeable portion of the oil wasn’t accessible with the technology of the day. To further add to the enthusiasm, the Bakken isn’t the only oil field with a steep increase in productivity. Other oil field around the United States, as well as Canada, have also been given an optimistic outlook for the future. New and untapped oil fields have been found in several states in the heartland of the American Midwest. The United States cultivates a particularly progressive approach to many aspects of technology and petrochemical manufacturing, pushing them towards unlocking deposits of valuable natural resources that were once considered to be out of reach.

The rise of Energy Production

The meteoric rise of the United States in energy production is certainly something that will change the global market in the future even more than it already has. While there are still limitations to surpass and obstacles to solve, technological innovation has increased the nation’s reputation as a leader in petrochemical output. The methods of the future are more efficient than ever before, while simultaneously striving to be environmentally friendly.


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