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Posted on Monday, January 12, 2004 @ 22:05:43 GMT by vlad

General Page: 3 Source: Reuters
WASHINGTON -- U.S. energy consumption is expected to grow 1.5% a year over the next two decades, with America using less natural gas and crude oil but more coal, nuclear power and renewable energy sources than previously thought, the government said earlier this month.

Oil demand was revised lower because of expected increases in federal vehicle gasoline mileage requirements, and higher natural gas prices will push down gas demand, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration`s long-term forecast.

Nonetheless total U.S. energy use will increase more rapidly than domestic energy production and more imports -- particularly oil -- will be needed to meet a growing share of energy demand, EIA said.

The Energy Department`s analytical arm said U.S. crude oil production will increase from 5.6 million bbls per day last year to a peak of 6.1 million bbls per day in 2008 and gradually decline to 4.6 million bbls per day in 2025.

At the same time, domestic oil demand will jump from the current 20 million bbls per day to 28.3 million bbls per day in 2025.

As a result, petroleum imports -- including both crude oil and refined oil products like gasoline -- will account for 70% of demand, up from 54% last year.

Separately, U.S. natural gas demand is forecast to grow 1.4% a year from 22.8 tcf in 2002 to 31.4 tcf in 2025, primarily because of more power plants being built that use gas as a fuel for generating electricity, the agency said.

However, U.S. domestic gas production is not expected to grow as fast and imports of liquefied natural gas [LNG] will have to close the widening gap between supply and demand.

Tighter supplies of natural gas mean U.S. production will be 23.79 tcf in
2020 -- significantly lower than the 25.1 tcf that the EIA forecast one year ago for 2020. The change is due to declining production from existing gas wells and new fields that are typically smaller than the large, older fields already tapped.

LNG imports are forecast to increase to 4.8 tcf in 2025, double the EIA`s estimate last year in its long-term energy outlook. The increase would mean LNG would account for 15% of total U.S. gas demand in 2025.

Other highlights of the EIA`s energy forecast between 2002 and 2025 include:
* Average world oil price, reflecting inflation, rises from $27 a bbl to $52.
* Coal remains the primary fuel for power plants, accounting for 52% of electric generation in 2025 from the current 50%.
* Electricity generated by renewable sources like solar and wind increases 1.9% a year to 518 billion kilowatt-hours.
* No new nuclear power plants expected to be built, but current plants increase their generating capacity.
* Carbon dioxide emissions increase 1.5% a year from 5,729 million metric tons to 8,142 million metric tons.

Edition: FINAL
Source: Daily Oil Bulletin December 30. 2003



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