he US shale boom has made the country the world leader in natural gas production and has lowered energy costs for Americans, suggests a new report.
In a report accompanying its world economic outlook, the International Monetary Fund laid out the global implications of the US shale boom. According to the IMF shale gas now accounts for around half of the total US natural gas production, compared to a meagre 1% in 2000.
The report states that while the US shale “revolution” has helped to “stabilise international energy prices”, prices in Asia and the European Union have risen. The rapid rise of shale gas production in the US has led to reduced imports of fossil fuels, from $412bn in 2008 to £225bn in 2013 – allowing international markets to “stabilise” in the face of reduced demand from America.
“The shale gas boom has drastically reduced US liquefied natural gas imports from Africa, the Middle East and Trinidad and Tobago,” the report reads, “and has also substantially reduced natural gas imports from Canada.”
Despite the disparity in who has benefited from the US shale revolution, it has been able to help stabilise international energy prices. With the disruptions seen in the geopolitical landscape, the increase in shale gas production has helped offset shortages, keeping prices lower than they would have been otherwise.