For decades, the concept of energy self-reliance in America has been little more than a political talking point and a pipe dream.
But owing to a range of new technologies across the energy industries and America’s vast natural resource base, it no longer seems so far-fetched. Innovation has made abundant quantities of shale oil and natural gas recoverable, and this influx of energy is helping fuel our economy. Clean coal technology can help us burn our most abundant and affordable domestic energy resource more cleanly while supporting thousands of American jobs.
But clean coal technology and the hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that are driving the shale boom aren’t the only potentially transformational technologies we have. New techniques to produce crude oil from mature oil fields that were experimental just a decade ago are unlocking vast new supplies.
Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) is rapidly gaining ground as a promising way to reinvigorate America’s aging oil fields to unlock significant amounts of “stranded” oil. The potential is enormous. There is an estimated 67 billion to 137 billion barrels of recoverable oil from known oil fields within our shores accessible with advanced EOR. That’s billion with a “b”-and it represents at least twice today’s current U.S. proved oil reserves.