The energy industry is an expensive, complicated, and long-lived turnaround, much like a tank. The shale revolution has caused the United States to experience a substantial increase in importing up 12 million barrels a day, significantly more so than it has exported. Energy security, as a result, was high on the political agenda for many companies, but lately, something’s different.
Earlier this month, the U.S. exported more oil than it imported for two weeks in a row. This achievement can be traced back to Texan George Mitchell, who’s perfected a way of using water and sand to attain natural gas from the Barnett Shale. Hydraulic fracturing has transformed Texas, the United States, and the world, and its the first time in history that natural gas and oil could be extracted at such speed and scale that it makes investors quite nervous.
The past decade’s exuberance for investing in the oil and gas industry is at short supply, and this lack of productivity has investors looking for returns on their investments. Mergers, acquisitions, and struggling companies now combine to weather these conditions, but the oil and gas industry are cyclical, so this gear shirt shouldn’t be a surprise. Times are different, however, and a change is coming.
The world’s economy consumes 15 percent more energy than it did ten years ago and is predicted to consume 15 percent more within the next 20 years. However, the proportion of fossil fuels is slowly declining, which means growth for the industry will be slow in the years ahead.
Even while the demand for fossil fuels remains an intricate part of the energy systems, the concern about climate is also rising. Concerns about renewable energy sources and climate change were not relevant to investors just a few years ago when investing in gas and oil. Within the past year, however, European investors have begun to question whether or not it’s wise to invest in oil and gas.
According to one analyst, he summed this phenomenon as “things are changing, and we don’t quite know where it’s going to end up.”
Taking a position about acknowledging the risks of climate change a few years ago was a risky business because it was about recognizing how oil and gas companies play a huge part in causing it. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions became a single venture for companies, making investments into control valve repair, renewable energy sources, and building foundations for solar and wind energy was risky twenty years ago. Today, many of the major superpowers of the energy industry have now begun to invest in renewable resources. Texas has even become the largest generator of wind power in the United States.
However, sadly, renewable energy will never be enough unless oil and gas companies take responsibility for the emissions they cause, and begin taking out the carbon of the hydrocarbon they produce.