EIA: Energy Production Outpaces Consumption Through 2040

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On Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration issued its Annual Energy Outlook 2013 Reference case, which states that total energy production in the United States will continue to exceed the country's energy consumption through 2040. Here are the details.

* Primary energy consumption is projected to grow by 7 percent through 2040, the EIA stated, adding that the consumption of petroleum-based liquid fuels will fall during that time.

* According to the Reference case, domestic crude oil production will rise sharply over the next decade, while motor gasoline consumption will be less than previously estimated.

* The growth of crude oil production is precipitated by the continuing imporvement of production technologies, the case summary stated. The EIA estimates that the annual growth will average 234,000 barrels per day through 2019, largely from onshore production from shale and other tight formations.

* The lesser gasoline use will result from corporate average fuel economy standards, the EIA stated. Fuel economy standards are expected to raise new vehicle fuel economy from 32.6 miles per gallon in 2011 to 47.3 miles per gallon in 2025.

* Diesel fuel consumption will be slowed by the increased use of natural gas in heavy vehicles, the case summary stated.

* Natural gas production will also grow at a rate faster than consumption, thanks to shale gas production, causing the U.S. to become a net exporter of liquefied natural gas within a few years and of total natural gas in 2020.

* According to the EIA, renewable fuel is expected to grow at a faster rate than fossil fuels, with an estimated 16 percent of the U.S. electricity generation coming from renewables by 2040.

* Solar and wind resources are expected to grow due to recent cost declines that make them more economical. However, biofuels may struggle due to the rapidly growing liquid fuels market.

* The EIA projects that improved efficiency of energy use and a shifting away from carbon-intensive fuels such as coal will result in emissions remaining more than 5 percent below their 2005 levels through 2040.

* The EIA's annual energy outlook case focuses on drivers shaping the U.S. energy markets with the assumption that current laws and regulations will remain largely the same throughout the projection period.

* The full Annual Energy Outlook 2013 will be released early in 2013 and will include alternative cases that arise from assumptions about policies and other market drivers, including prices and economic growth, the EIA stated.

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