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The Natural Gas in the US industry is poised to witness a remarkable upsurge in production and demand, marking a significant milestone in 2023. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the projected figures in the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) indicate an unprecedented surge in the production and consumption of natural gas in the US nationwide.
The EIA’s forecast anticipates a substantial ascent in dry gas production, estimated to climb to 103.72 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2023, surpassing the previous record of 99.60 bcfd in 2022. Additionally, the agency projects an upward trajectory to 105.13 bcfd in 2024, signaling an evident growth trend in the sector.
Correspondingly, domestic gas consumption is also anticipated to surge, rising from a record 88.46 bcfd in 2022 to 89.17 bcfd in 2023. However, the consumption is expected to dip slightly to 88.38 bcfd in 2024, showcasing a trend of moderate fluctuation in the coming years.
Of notable significance, 2024 would mark the first instance of four consecutive years of output increase since 2015. In contrast, 2023 would signify the initial occurrence of three consecutive years of rising demand since 2016, accentuating the potential growth and stability within the natural gas industry.
The latest projections for 2023 indicate an optimistic outlook, surpassing the EIA’s earlier September forecast of 102.69 bcfd for supply despite being marginally lower than the September projection of 89.72 bcfd for demand.
Moreover, the agency’s forecast emphasizes a surge in average liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, expected to elevate to 11.62 bcfd in 2023 and further escalate to 13.15 bcfd in 2024. This uptick in exports is a notable leap from the record 10.59 bcfd observed in 2022.
However, in contrast to the surge in natural gas in the US, the EIA’s projections foresee a decline in U.S. coal production, dwindling from 597.2 million short tons in 2022 to an estimated 581.1 million short tons in 2023. By 2024, the projections suggest a further decline to 465.5 million short tons, marking the lowest production levels since 1962. This decline is attributed to the shift towards gas and renewable energy sources, increasingly replacing coal-fired power plants.
As the energy landscape witnesses this transition, power producers’ reduced reliance on coal is expected to result in a decline in carbon dioxide emissions. The EIA’s projections anticipate a decrease in emissions from fossil fuels, from 4.941 billion metric tons in 2022 to 4.753 billion metric tons in 2023, further diminishing to 4.707 billion metric tons in 2024. These figures signal a significant reduction compared to 2020, which recorded the lowest emissions since 1983, primarily due to the adverse impacts of the pandemic on energy demand.
The projections outlined by the EIA present a compelling trajectory for the Natural Gas in the US industry, indicating a shift towards increased production and evolving energy sources, marking a transformative phase in the nation’s energy landscape.