Deloitte survey: U.S. self-sufficiency for natural gas, but not crude oil
HOUSTON — America can bank on plentiful domestic natural gas, but should expect a continued reliance on foreign oil, according to oil and gas decision-makers who participated in a new Deloitte survey.
Three-quarters of the survey respondents think the United States is already natural gas self-sufficient, or will be within 10 years. When it comes to oil, however, survey respondents are far less optimistic about our ability to meet American demand with domestic supplies: 54 percent say the United States will never
be completely oil self-sufficient – and only 26 percent say oil self-sufficiency is achievable in the next 10 years.
Deloitte believes that if the question of oil self-sufficiency had been expanded to include all of North America, the results would likely have been different: “Given North America’s remarkable success with unconventional oil – both tight oil in places like North Dakota and oil sands in Canada – something closely resembling self-sufficiency is arguably within reach,” said Peter Robertson, an independent senior advisor to Deloitte and former vice chairman of Chevron Corporation. “When you combine unconventional oil supplies with the recently established increase in shale gas reserves, you could have the makings of a true energy renaissance.”
Deloitte conducted the survey in late October and canvassed 250 oil and gas professionals from a decision-making demographic: Respondents were 48 years old on average and had an average of 20 years’ experience in the industry. All had college or graduate degrees and earned over $100,000 per year.
“It’s not surprising that oil and gas decision-makers are enthusiastic about the role of natural gas in our national energy future, given burgeoning supplies, America’s comparatively low cost of extraction, and its relative cleanliness,” said John England, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and leader of Deloitte’s oil and gas practice. “What is surprising is that natural gas is a fuel source that we were aggressively preparing to import at high world prices just a few years ago.”