Thirty-five years ago, George Mitchell made history when his company drilled the first well in the Barnett Shale of North Texas. Decades of innovation later, fracking has helped America become the largest oil and gas producer in the world. A new report entitled “An Energy Revolution: 35 Years of Fracking in the Barnett Shale” explores the history of the Barnett, and what it means for Americans today. Here are a few examples:
1. Fracking in the Barnett Shale was a first of its kind.
George Mitchell – a Houston oil man now known as the “Father of Fracking” – is responsible for the Barnett’s success. He didn’t invent fracking, but his contributions were revolutionary.
2. The Barnett Shale is a big reason why Texas is the largest natural gas producing state.
Since 2003, the Barnett has produced over 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas – that’s enough to heat 225 million homes for a year!
3. Running out of gas? Not even close.
The U.S. Geological Survey recently doubled its assessment of the Barnett Shale, estimating 53 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas is still available.
4. In other words, only one-third of the Barnett Shale’s natural gas has been developed.
It’s not even halftime folks!
5. The Barnett is not just an energy producing powerhouse, it’s also a boon to the Texas economy.
The Barnett provides $11.8 BILLION to the local economy per year, and has created more than 107,000 permanent jobs.
6. But the Barnett doesn’t just bring money into Texas, it also helps Texans keep their money.
Between 2007 and 2013, lower natural gas prices from fracking saved consumers $432 per person in energy and home heating costs annually.
7. If Texas were a country, it’d be the second largest producer of natural gas.
Only Russia produces more natural gas than the Lone Star State. Everything really is bigger in Texas!
8. What started in the Barnett has transformed America’s energy landscape.
The Barnett Shale was just the beginning. Today, two-thirds of U.S. natural gas comes from fracking, up from less than 7% in 2000.
9. Thanks to fracking, the United States is now a global energy leader.
Before the shale revolution, people talked about Peak Oil. In 2014, the U.S. overtook Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest combined oil and gas producer.
10. You want a trade surplus? Fracking can do that, too.
In 2015, for the first time ever, the United States posted an annual trade surplus with OPEC.
11. Fracking means energy security.
With our newfound oil and gas abundance, the United States recently lifted a 40-year ban on exporting crude oil. Thanks to fracking, we are now able to supply safe, secure, and reliable energy to our allies around the world.
12. Enjoy what you’ve learned? Thank a Texas oilfield worker.
None of these amazing achievements would have been possible without the work of George Mitchell and the discoveries first made in the Barnett Shale.