Future US oil, natgas production rises on shale − agency

05 December 2012 20:20  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Production of crude oil and natural gas in the US will rise more than previously expected, mainly from the increase in domestic shale plays, a government agency said on Wednesday.

Domestic production of crude oil will grow by 234,000 bbl/day each year to 7.5m bbl/day in 2019 as a result of a significant increase in onshore crude oil production, particularly from shale and other tight formations, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

However, the EIA said production will decrease to 6.1m bbl/day by 2040.

In its Annual Energy Outlook 2013 the EIA said crude production will fall as “producers develop sweet spots first and then move to less productive or less profitable drilling areas”.

US natural gas production will also rise, from 6.8 trillion cubic feet/year (tcf/year) in 2011 to 7.8 tcf/year in 2025, the EIA said.

“Relatively low natural gas prices, facilitated by growing shale gas production, spur increased use in the industrial and electric power sectors, particularly over the next 15 years,” the EIA said.

The outlook shows natural gas will reach other new markets as well, such as exports, as a fuel for heavy-duty freight transportation, and as a feedstock for producing diesel and other fuels.

Accordingly, as use of natural gas increases in heavy-duty vehicles, motor gasoline consumption falls in the EIA’s report.

Furthermore, the increase in vehicle efficiency reduces gasoline use in the transportation sector by 500,000 bbl/day in 2025 and by 1m bbl/day in 2035 compared with the 2012 outlook from the EIA.

The use of petroleum-based diesel fuel is also reduced by the increased use of diesel produced using gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology.

According to the EIA, natural gas use in vehicles reaches 1.7 tcf (including GTL) by 2040, displacing 700,000 bbl/day of other motor fuels.

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By: Anna Matherne

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