Billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent to “disrupt” oil markets, break “our addiction” to Mid-East oil (as President George W. Bush phrased it), and replace “100 percent of our gasoline” (as venture capitalist Vinod Khosla asserted in 2007, when he forecasted a “brand new” $70 billion green-energy industry.) Yet few energy strategists and even fewer green investors forecasted that shale technologies, developed by the private sector, would create the disruption—collapsing oil prices and creating a new domestic industry that would grow from zero to $70 billion annually within a decade.
Now the cognoscenti declare that low oil prices, caused by America’s “over-supplying” of global markets, will end the country’s shale revolution. In fact, says MI senior fellow Mark Mills, the opposite will occur. In a timely Manhattan Institute lunch lecture, Mills, author of the new report, Shale 2.0: Technology and the Coming Big-Data Revolution in America’s Shale Oil Fields, will explain how emerging Silicon Valley technologies won’t replace oil but will, instead, unleash even more oil from the still largely untapped U.S. shale fields. Now, after over $600 billion of private investment in shale infrastructure, 2 billion horizontal well-feet drilled, and petabytes of data generated, the U.S. shale industry is poised to be mined by bigdata analytics—and is primed for Shale 2.0.