Though oil prices have fallen, it’s believed that United States oil production will continue to grow and expand. Not only do the country’s energy needs require increased production, but prices have begun to rebound and are expected to recover through 2017. In the United States, oil production has been increasing despite shifts within the global market, and many domestic companies have been investing more into their oil field projects.
U.S. Natural Gas and Oil Output Is Increasing
When prices hit sub-$40 levels early in 2016, many analysts believed that the United States would reduce its oil production. Contrary to this, however, the oil rig counts have increased and natural gas output has continued to rise. In fact, it’s projected that the United States may increase its output of crude oil by 20% or more by 2030, and this output may only continue to rise. New technologies have made more oil and natural gas recoverable, and this oil and natural gas is necessary for a growing population with growing energy demands.
With oil prices approximately 60% lower than 24 months prior, oil and gas companies have had to make up their profits in volume. Rather than reducing their operations in order to mitigate their losses, they have instead invested more into technology. This technology has been used to rapidly increase efficiency and productivity, thereby making it easier for oil and gas companies to maintain their profit margins.
Planning for an Independent Energy Future
The increase in oil production throughout the United States has made the U.S. largely independent of foreign oil. In previous decades, the United States was tethered to OPEC, an organization of oil producing and exporting countries. This created many economic and political liabilities. In 2015, the United States was able to achieve 9.4 million b/d of oil production, which dropped only slightly to 8.7 million b/d in 2016. This has given the United States significantly more leverage in the global energy market.
The Importance of the Oil and Gas Industry
The oil and gas industry is not only important from an energy standpoint. Oil and gas companies make up the foundation for economic stability within the country, on both a micro-scale and a macro-scale. On a micro-level, oil and gas companies are creating jobs in local communities and enriching these communities by bringing commerce to them. Over 100,000 new oil jobs are expected to be added to the domestic economy within the next two years. Without these oil and gas companies, many towns could falter altogether.
On a macro-level, affordable natural gas and oil vastly improves the economy as a whole. In fact, the economy generally does not recover from setbacks until energy and gas prices have decreased. Lower energy and gas prices empower both local citizens and small businesses, making it easier for them to operate and grow. By increasing volume and maintaining low oil and gas prices, oil and gas companies have been able to spearhead the country’s economic rebound.
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