By Fareed Zakaria
Last year, the world’s energy watchdog published a report which asked an important question: “Are we entering a golden age of gas?”
So I was struck when I saw the International Energy Agency’s 2012 report. Gone is the question mark.
Instead it says, simply: “Golden rules for a golden age of gas.”
And the starting point of that golden age is right here in America.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the shale gas revolution is a game-changer not just for the energy industry, not just for the U.S. — but for geopolitics.
The technology behind shale gas production, where shale rock is blasted with a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals, is only two decades old. The process is called fracking.
And in a short time, its success has led to the drilling of 20,000 wells in America, the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs, and a guaranteed supply of gas for perhaps 100 years. The International Energy Agency says global gas production will rise 50% by the year 2035; two-thirds of that growth will come from unconventional sources like shale — a market the U.S. completely dominates.