U.S. to Hit Near-Record Highs for Oil Production; Gas Strong Through 2040
U.S. oil production could soon approach record-high levels, and domestic natural gas production will increase more than 50% over the next two and a half decades, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The EIA released an early overview of its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook on December 16. Among the highlights: domestic crude oil production is expected to reach 9.5 million barrels per day by 2016, approaching the historical high of 9.6 million barrels reached in 1970; production will then level off and begin a slow decline after 2020.
U.S. production of natural gas, meanwhile, will grow steadily, with EIA calling for a 56% increase between 2012 and 2040, when production should reach 37.6 trillion cubic feet. The report also shows that natural gas is overtaking coal as the largest generator of U.S. electric power thanks to low prices and 2013 legislation that extends tax credits for renewable technologies.
The EIA report also highlighted another trend: the U.S. is using less foreign fuel. Between the increased crude oil production and the growth of natural gas as a fuel option, the U.S. will continue to depend less and less on imported fuel. Projections indicate that at the current rate of decline will result in foreign fuel being only 9% of total U.S. consumption by 2040.
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