US could become net energy exporter by 2026

The US could become a net exporter of energy in the next nine years. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has projected various potential courses the US energy market could take […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The US could become a net exporter of energy in the next nine years.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has projected various potential courses the US energy market could take through to 2050, depending on how markets, technology, resources and policies change.

The bulk of cases show petroleum liquid imports falling and natural gas exports rising due to strong domestic production coupled with relatively flat demand.

The most rapid transition to the US becoming a net exporter is if the oil price is high. This would provide favourable economic conditions for crude oil and natural gas producers while restraining domestic consumption, the EIA states.

Substantial improvements in the technology used to produce fuel and a significant increase in the availability of resources could see US energy production rise by 50%.

In all other cases, production declines in the 2030s, slowing or reversing projected growth in net energy exports.

US energy consumption remains relatively consistent across all scenarios, rising 5% by 2040 under normal conditions. This could rise to 11% if economic growth is strong or remain flat if it is weak.

In all cases a Clean Power Plan being implemented would result in emissions levels being much lower in the future, the report adds.