US to take longer to reach 30 tcf of gas demand

Feb 12, 2002 01:00 AM

The US eventually will reach the 30 tcf per year of gas demand that has become the "poster figure" for the industry, but it will take longer than initially predicted thanks to the price spikes of last winter and the current economic downturn, a Virginia-based analyst said. Energy and Environmental Analysis' Bruce Henning predicted that, instead of reaching that consumption mark by 2010, the country is likely to hit it closer to 2015.
By 2010, the US likely will be consuming 29.58 tcf/year and will reach 31.33 tcf/year by 2015, he told the National Assn. of State Energy Officials' 2002 Energy Outlook Conference in Washington.

D.C. Henning said gas demand would increase in all sectors but dramatically in power generation, which likely will see a 105.9 % increase by 2015. "Gas demand growth is driven by increased power generation demand," he said, but he also noted that a large chunk of demand will continue to be for winter peaking needs. For example, he said January consumption will increase from 86 bn cfpd in 2000 to 113 bn cfpd in 2015.
Henning also said the "gas resource base is sufficient to satisfy growing demand" but predicted that "regional gas production patterns will shift as production grows in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, Rockies and Arctic."

Changes in production patterns also will contribute to shifting pipeline flow patterns, Henning said. He predicted pipeline and storage investments would average $ 3.2-bn/year in the US between now and 2015. The industry will face a challenge securing adequate rates of return to attract that required capital, Henning said.

Source: Platts
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