The Building Block of Everyday Life
Who uses natural gas? The answer to that question is simple. We all do.
Natural gas is a building block of everyday life. Not only does it heat our homes, provide a fuel source for cooking, or fuel for our vehicles, but it is also an important feedstock for many other items we use each day. For more than 100 years, Americans have relied on natural gas and oil to enhance their quality of life.
The cars we drive, the food we eat, the medicines we take – each product is touched in some way by America’s oil and natural gas industry. Natural gas is a key component in a vast majority of manufactured goods. Whether it’s through life-saving medicines, surgical equipment, electronics, computers, phones, CDs, paint, make-up or clothing, the natural gas and oil industry supports our day-to-day lives.
The facts speak for themselves. Natural gas supplies nearly one-fourth of all of the energy used in the United States. There are more than 68 million residential customers and more than five million commercial enterprises using natural gas in the United States. And it’s not a new industry. It’s a proven and safe industry with a long history.
Virginia alone has 120 years of history in natural gas exploration. The first well was drilled 120 years ago in 1898 in Wise County. The first commercial well was drilled in 1931 in Scott County. In 2016, the state had 8,154 producing wells. Buchanan County remains as the largest producer of gas in the state, followed by Dickenson County. Gas production also occurred in Russell, Tazewell and Wise counties. Altogether, production in the state totaled 120.20 bcf. To put that into perspective, it’s enough fuel to power more than 1 million households -- nearly one-third of Virginia’s needs for a year.
The fact is -- every American has benefitted from America’s energy revolution in the last several years. Affordable energy impacts people’s wallets. Domestic natural gas has transformed the U.S. economy, made our U.S. companies more competitive, created jobs and put money back in the pockets of working Americans. In the jobs arena, it means good paying jobs for hard working Americans. And in the national security arena, it also makes a difference.
“As a retired captain in the United States Navy, I can tell you that domestic oil and natural gas production provides our military with critical energy resources, without which it could not effectively protect our country,” said Kenny Golden, of Virginia Beach, a member of Vets4Energy. “Energy independence provided by American oil and gas also makes us safer and less vulnerable to our enemies. The petroleum industry employs tens of thousands of veterans, who served our country in uniform and are now serving it by ensuring we have the energy we need.”
The need for natural gas and the many products it makes possible is not going away. Total natural gas demand is poised to increase by 40 percent in the next decade to meet the needs of manufacturing and power generation. U.S. supply is expected to increase by 48 percent in the next decade to meet new demand.
What that means is that natural gas will continue to serve a growing economy, contribute to making a more secure America and continue in its role as the building block for everyday life.