The U.S. started the shale drilling game, but there are several other countries out there that have shale resources as well. Some of those countries even have shale gas reserves greater than the United States. Yet despite these massive overseas resources, most countries can't seem to get shale gas drilling off the ground. It isn't by chance the U.S. has been able to develop these resources and others haven't.
There are several reasons shale drilling has taken off in the United States. One clear reason everyone can agree on is that the U.S. has one of the most complete energy infrastructures out there. While much of that infrastructure was built to deliver oil and gas from the Gulf of Mexico to destinations across the U.S., we we've taken that existing infrastructure and flipped it on its head. Pipeline reversals, such as the one on Enbridge's (NYSE: ENB) and Enterprise Products Partners' (NYSE:EPD) Seaway pipeline, provide an essential route to deliver resources from these emerging shale plays to the Gulf to be refined.
What many people don't seem to appreciate is the sheer size of America's energy infrastructure in comparison with other countries. Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) and its subsidiaries alone own more than double the amount of pipeline than what exists in all of China.
This big leg up, combined with eager production companies with a favorable regulatory framework for private land, has made the U.S. the standard-bearer for shale drilling. Learn more about these advantages by tuning into the discussion between Fool analysts Joel South, Taylor Muckerman, and Fool.com contributor Tyler Crowe in the following video.