Allen J. Tarbutton Jr. Mitchell Energy Corp. The Woodlands, Tex.
In the last half of the 1980s, the U.S. petroleum industry entered the "Age of Gaseous Energy." Early indications for the 1990s are promising for both natural gas and natural-gas liquids.
Since the peak year of 1985, U.S. crude oil production has declined about 19%-from 8.971 to 7.301 million b/d in 1990. During this same period, U.S. marketed production of natural gas has increased about 7%-from 17.2 to 18.5 tcf/year.
Fig. 1 shows these trends.
Production and demand for gas-plant liquids, although somewhat erratic ...