Global natural gas supply driven by shale production
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that natural gas production will increase to 554 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) by 2040. Production was 342 Bcf/d in 2015. Shale gas will make up 30 percent of natural gas production worldwide by 2040.
The U.S., Canada, China and Argentina are the only countries with commercial shale gas production, but technological improvements will change this in countries such as Mexico and Algeria. The EIA estimates that production in these six countries will account for 70 percent of global shale production by 2040. U.S. production is predicted to more than double to 79 Bcf/d, representing 70 percent of total U.S. natural gas production.
Fewer restrictions increase U.S. crude oil destinations
Despite factors that should have negatively affected U.S. crude oil exports, more countries are receiving these exports since restrictions on exporting were lifted in December 2015, according to the EIA.
The first five months of 2016 averaged 501,000 barrels per day (b/d), 9 percent more than the full-year daily average in 2015.
The amount of crude oil shipped to countries other than Canada was higher than what was shipped to Canada in March and May of 2016. Outside of Canada, Curacao has been the largest and most consistent importer of U.S. crude oil. The oil there is likely used in a blend with heavy Venezuelan crude oil for processing at a refinery or for re-export to the state-owned oil company’s customers.
Natural gas emissions to surpass coal
U.S. fuel use patterns will impact the source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The EIA expects CO2 emissions from natural gas to be 10 percent greater than those for coal. The increase represents the first time natural gas CO2 emissions will be higher than coal emissions since 1972.
Decreased coal consumption is the largest driver of the change. Natural gas is less carbon-intensive than coal, and even when the consumption of both was relatively equal, coal CO2 emissions were still 84 percent higher than those from natural gas. Emissions from both energy sources were nearly equal in 2015 even though natural gas consumption was 81 percent higher than coal consumption.