Updated: 2013-02-18 08:05
By Wu Sike (China Daily)
US' development and commercialization of shale gas will have a big impact on the global economy and geopolitics
The United States announced in this year's annual energy outlook that it will become a net exporter of natural gas by the year 2020 instead of the previously projected 2022.
The US leads the rest of the world in the development of shale gas technology. Last April, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a proposal by an American liquefied natural gas energy company to export liquefied natural gas abroad. The approval, the first of its kind in 40 years, was a landmark for the shale gas revolution in the US, signaling that the country has transformed itself from an importer of energy to a major exporter.
A major change in energy structure often triggers a new round of economic development. For the US, shale gas exploration will help pull its manufacturing out of recession and give a strong boost to the country's economic recovery.
Shale gas is expected to become a major energy source for the world, and the US-initiated shale gas revolution means the US will not only have a more dominant position in the global energy distribution, it will also change the world's geopolitical layout. So there is a great deal of attention on how the US will adjust its global strategy, especially its Middle East policy, and what kind of a situation other energy-consuming nations will face in terms of energy security.