HOUSTON, March 5Production of oil and gas from
shale basins like the Eagle Ford in south Texas are growing fast
enough that North America may be an energy exporter within a
decade, the chief executive of ConocoPhillips said on
U.S. imports of foreign crude fell to the lowest level in 15
last year as domestic production surged and demand fell,
according to data released by the U.S. Energy Administration
"The new landscape is like someone picked up the energy
world and tilted it," Ryan Lance, Conoco's CEO told IHS CERAWeek
delegates attending the Houston energy conference.
Shale development, which brings a faster payoff than a
liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, has changed the investment
cycle because it does not require massive up-front investments,
Companies are also being pushed to speed up drilling times,
improve efficiency and control costs as rig fleets are rolled
out in shale and other unconventional formations.
"These are huge drilling programs that need more people to
run them," Lance said. "So planning and execution is very
different from a deepwater development with far few wells."
Shale development may be jeopardized, however, if the
industry is not taxed fairly and the government does not open
more areas to development, the executive said.
Shares of ConocoPhillips, the largest U.S. independent oil
and gas company by market value rose 3 cents to $57.65 in
morning New York Stock Exchange trading.