The United States is expected to become a net energy exporter by 2022, according to the reference case in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018. In the annual outlook, the EIA has several cases or projections based on economic growth, oil prices and technology advancements, and the reference case is at the middle of the projection range. The outlook, which was released Tuesday (Feb. 6), projects U.S. energy markets through 2050.
The United States is expected to continue to develop U.S. shale and tight oil and natural gas resources along with a modest increase in energy consumption, according to the EIA. In projections with higher oil prices or with a larger rise in oil and gas production, the United States is expected to become a net energy exporter before 2022.
“In the high oil and gas resource and technology case, favorable geology and technological developments increase oil and natural gas supply, leading to higher energy exports,” according to the EIA. “In the high oil price case, before 2040, economic conditions are more favorable for oil producers, supporting higher levels of exports and lower domestic consumption than in the reference case. Exports decline after 2040 in this sensitivity case as a result of the lack of substantial improvements in technology.”
Following are other key findings in the annual outlook, based on the reference case:
- Energy consumption is expected to rise 0.4% annually as the population grows 0.6% per year.
- After 2022, renewable energy and natural gas will comprise of nearly all new electricity generating capacity.
- Production of liquids and natural gas is expected to rise for decades.