- Nov 21, 2002S. Gas, oil imports to surge by 2025, DOE forecasts
U.S. natural-gas imports will double over the next 23 years and dependency on foreign crude
oil will increase as demand growth in the world's largest economy outstrips domestic fuel
supplies, the Department of Energy said.
Gas imports will more than double to 7.8 trillion cubic feet in 2025, from 3.6 trillion last year,
while foreign sources will supply 68 percent of U.S. oil demand, up from 55 percent in 2001,
the agency's Energy Information Administration said.
``The main drive of natural-gas growth is in the electricity sector and industrial sector,'' said
Guy Caruso, EIA's administrator. ``On a regional basis, much of the growth will continue in
the southern (states) and California.''
EIA's Annual Energy Outlook for 2003 anticipates an expansion of gross domestic product
in the U.S. of 3 percent a year and an increase in energy demand of 1.5 percent a year,
boosting total U.S. energy use to 139.1 quadrillion British thermal units by 2025 from 97.3
quadrillion in 2001.
Imported refined oil products, including jet fuel, gasoline and diesel fuel, will also account for
a gain in net petroleum imports, to 34 percent of demand from 15 percent in 2001.
LNG Expansion Four existing liquefied natural gas import terminals in Massachusetts,
Maryland, Georgia and Louisiana will have to be expanded and new facilities will be needed
to meet demand for the fuel in Florida and the U.S. Gulf Coast area, the study said.
A fourth new LNG facility is planned in Mexico to service the California market. Rising gas
demand will benefit energy companies that operate the terminals in the U.S., including
Dominion Resources Inc. and El Paso Corp., the agency said.
El Paso Corp. plans to expand the so-called sendout capacity of its Elba Island, Georgia,
LNG facility by 360 million cubic feet per day to 800 million by 2005, spokesman Aaron
Woods said. The company today won approval from federal regulators for the $148 million
LNG is gas that has been cooled to liquid form, shrinking its volume for easier transportation
by ship. Net imports of LNG will rise to 2.1 trillion cubic feet by 2025, from about 200
billion last year, the department forecast.
Sendout capacity is the amount of gas that can be fed into pipelines from storage terminals at
the marine terminal. El Paso is developing tankers that can freeze and unfreeze gas, allowing it
to transport the fuel from countries that don't already have an LNG export terminal.
Natural gas wellhead prices are projected to reach $3.90 per thousand cubic feet by 2025,
measured in constant 2001 dollars.
Power Price Drop Electricity generated by gas is projected to increase to 29 percent of the
total in 23 years, up from 17 percent in 2001 while coal will remain the primary fuel for
electricity, dropping to 48 percent of electricity generation by the middle of the third decade
of the century from 52 percent in 2001, the study found.
Increased competition in the electricity marketplace will drop power prices to a low of 6.3
cents per kilowatt-hour in 2007 from 7.3 cents in 2001 before rising again with gas prices to
an inflation adjusted price of 6.7 cents in 2025, the study said.
Several groups are competing to build the Alaska pipeline. BP Plc is supporting construction
of a pipeline to move about 5 billion cubic feet a day running south from the Prudhoe Bay oil
and gas fields on Alaska's North Slope to Fairbanks where it would turn southeast and head
across Canada toward Chicago.
``Alaska natural gas is produced today and mainly reinjected,'' said Caruso. ``The question is
what would be a sufficient price to allow the development of the pipeline.''
Before the gas pipeline from Alaska is built, completion of a line in 2016 from the Mackenzie
Delta in Canada's Northwest Territories to markets in the U.S. Midwest is expected to boost
imports from Canada by at least 1.5 billion cubic feet per day.
The Mackenzie Delta pipeline would take about 7 years to construct, the Alaska project
about a decade, according to BP spokeswoman Jennifer Ruys.
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