"Domestic oil production is expected to increase this year over last, for the first time since 1991, according to projections by the Energy Department.
Many energy executives had thought the drilling renaissance, coming after years of declines, represented a new era, particularly for gas production. Domestic natural gas output rose by almost 8 percent last year from 2007, the biggest annual jump in more than a generation.
But that boom has created such abundant supplies that companies are not only drilling less but also deciding not to pump from wells already drilled.
The number of oil and gas rigs deployed to tap new energy supplies across the country has plunged to less than 1,200 from 2,400 last summer, and energy executives say the drop is accelerating further.
Energy experts and company executives warn that oil and gas companies now cutting back on investments will be unable to respond quickly to a future economic recovery. That means a glut could rapidly turn to scarcity, sending energy prices soaring again. Already, experts are predicting that lower domestic gas production by the end of the year will require increased imports of liquefied natural gas from places like Qatar."
Thanks to Mark Boshnack