Shale Gas Reserves Could Reignite U.S. Economy

Posted by Bloomberg

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You’d expect that kind of exuberance from a man with everything to gain from seeing his vision made real, but it’s not just independent drillers such as Chesapeake that are talking big.ConocoPhillips (COP) is investing $2 billion in gas in 2011, up from $500 million two years ago.

Other multi-national oil giants, such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), are likewise diverting billions into domestic shale gas projects. “We believe so strongly in natural gas that it’s a major portion of our portfolio,” Conoco CEO James J. Mulva told an audience at the Detroit Economic Club in September.

Last month, the potential for U.S. shale gas spurred Kinder Morgan to acquire rival pipeline operator El Paso Corp. for $21.1 billion. It also drove the proposed $4.4 billion purchase ofBrigham Exploration Co. (BEXP) by Norway’s Statoil ASA. (STL)