The United States will become a net energy exporter as petroleum liquid imports decline and natural gas exports increase, according to a new report from U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The EIA released its Annual Energy Outlook 2017 on Thursday (Jan. 5), and it offers projections on U.S. energy markets through 2050 based on eight cases. The outlook report is the first one to offer projections through 2050. The 2013-2016 editions projected through 2040.
The report considers the following cases: reference, low and high economic growth, low and high oil price, low and high oil and gas resource and technology, and no clean power plan implementation. “The eight cases considered in (the report) incorporate different assumptions that reflect market, technology, resource and policy uncertainties that affect energy markets,” according to the EIA.
In the high oil price case, economic conditions are favorable for “crude oil and natural gas producers while restraining domestic consumption, enabling the most rapid transition to net export status.” In all cases except for the high oil and gas resource technology case, U.S. energy production declines in the 2030s, impacting the projected growth in net energy exports. The high oil and gas resource technology case “assumes substantial improvements in production technology and more favorable resource availability,” allowing for oil and natural gas to be produced at lower costs.
The following are some of the other highlights in the report:
- Increased energy consumption is tied to economic growth. The high growth case projects an 11% increase in consumption while it’s nearly flat in the low growth case.
- Energy production growth is nearly flat in the low oil and gas resource and technology case, and it’s almost 50% in the high oil and gas resource and technology case.
- Carbon dioxide emissions decline in most projected cases, with the highest energy-related emissions in the no clean power plan case. All cases, except for the previous one, assume the Clean Power Plan is put in place. On Feb. 9, 2016, the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.