IPAA panel says US gas output, demand gap to widen

An Independent Petroleum Association of America panel predicts US natural gas demand will increase 1.8%/year for the foreseeable future, rising to 24.8 tcf by 2005, to 28.1 in 2010, and 30.7 in 2015. Its long-term forecast said US gas production would grow 1.9% this year but only 1.3%/year through 2005.

Jun 8th, 2001


By the OGJ Online Staff

WASHINGTON, DC, June 8 -- An Independent Petroleum Association of America panel predicts US natural gas demand will increase 1.8%/year for the foreseeable future, rising to 24.8 tcf by 2005, to 28.1 in 2010, and 30.7 in 2015.

The long-term forecast from IPAA's Supply and Demand Committee said US gas production would grow 1.9% this year but only 1.3%/year through 2005.

"Although this is a slower growth rate than shown by consumption, total gas output should hit 20.5 tcf by the year 2005 and 24.8 tcf by 2015. Total gas imports, mainly from Canada, are expected to rise to 4.95 tcf by 2005, up from 3.73 tcf in 2000. Imports of 6.05 tcf in 2015 will account for nearly 20% of total gas demand."

The report said any pipelines to move gas from Alaska or the Mackenzie Delta would not affect supply until 2010.

"LNG imports add a new variable to the supply matrix, with imports up 22% between 1999 and 2000 and anticipated forward growth averaging 8%/year. Considering the tight supply situation, the LNG factor will only gain in relative market share (especially as a peaking fuel) despite its 1% share of total gas demand."

The committee said US oil demand should continue rising by between 1.3 and 1.8% year during the next 15 years, depending on economic factors and tightness of crude oil markets. Total demand should reach 22.3 million b/d by 2005 and 25.4 million b/d by 2015.

US crude production will slip 50,000 b/d to 5.83 million b/d in 2000 but rebound to 6.55 million by 2005. The decline would resume in the next decade at 2%/year, dropping to 5.63 million in 2010 and 5.34 million in 2015.

The panel said oil imports (crude and products) would reach 12.1 million by 2005 and 14.9 million in 2015, up from 11.1 million in 2000. Imports as a percentage of demand would rise from 57.5% in 2001 to 61.3% in 2015.

Near term
The IPAA committee's short-term forecast said gas consumption will increase 1.3% to 23.02 tcf in 2001. Production will rise 1.9% to 19.59 tcf, due to drilling activity that is nearly 60% higher than a year ago.

"The committee believes that natural gas growth will continue to be focused on the shallow shelf of the Gulf of Mexico, supplemented by considerable increases in Lower 48 onshore drilling activity. Due to increasing decline rates that continue to reduce the sustainability of production, marked increases in gas directed drilling have only gradually yielded increased production."

It said US oil output would increase 0.4% to 5.86 million b/d this year, again due to the higher price environment. Production is expected to be flat in 2002.

It said rotary rigs searching for crude oil are still down 60% from the 400-rig average through the 1990s. "Workover rigs have just broached 1,000 but should be closer to 1,400 or 1,500 in this price environment."

Demand for products is expected to increase 1.3% this year, led by distillate and aviation fuel, and then climb 1.4% next year to 21.02 million b/d.

Oil imports are expected to rise 2.4% this year to 11.4 million b/d, up 2.4%, and then slide 3.2 % to 11.01 million next year. Oil imports are expected top comprise almost 58% of total petroleum demand in 2001 and 55% in 2002.

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