17 December 2008 19:18 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--US oil consumption will hold steady over the next two decades as more efficient automobile engines and increased use of renewable fuels keep crude consumption relatively flat, the Energy Department said on Wednesday.
It is the first time in more than 20 years that the department’s annual energy outlook (AEO) projects virtually no growth in ?xml:namespace>
In addition, the administration predicts that US imports of energy liquids, chiefly oil, will decline from the 58% of total national consumption seen in 2007 to less than 40% in 2025 before increasing to 41% in 2030.
The anticipated plateau in
However, the administration expects
The price and availability of natural gas is of concern to the US petrochemicals sector and its downstream customers because it is the principal feedstock and energy fuel for the industry.
The US Congress recently ended its 27-year moratorium on oil and gas exploration and development off the nation’s
As a consequence, the administration anticipates that the US will need less imports of natural gas, saying that “the net import share of total natural gas uses declines from 16% in 2007 to less than 3% in 2030”.
The department said it expects world oil prices to average around $60/bbl in 2009 but that crude costs will rise again “as the global economy rebounds, and global demand once again grows more rapidly than non-OPEC liquids supply”.
By 2030 the average real price of crude oil will be $130/bbl in 2007 dollars or $189/bbl in nominal dollars, the administration predicts.
Total domestic production of natural gas is expected to reach 23,700bn cubic feet (bcf) by 2030, compared with some 18,500 bcf produced domestically in 2006.
“While exploration and production costs rise over time, higher natural gas prices support the projected level of production,” the administration said.
“Onshore production of unconventional natural gas, including shale gas, increases from 9,200 bcf in 2007 to 13,200 bcf in 2030,” the outlook said.
Natural gas prices are forecast to increase from the $9/MMBtu average in 2007 to $10.74/MMBtu (in 2007 dollars) by 2030, the administration said. The 2030 average price for natural gas is forecast at $15.58/MMBtu in nominal dollars.
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