US set to be energy independent within months

The US is only months away from full energy independence, a new study from Oslo-based Rystad Energy states. By 2030, total primary energy production will outpace primary energy demand by about 30%, according to Rystad’s latest forecast.

“This milestone follows a strong period of growth in both hydrocarbon and renewable resources, and we forecast that the US will have primary energy surplus – and not a deficit – by February or March 2020, depending on the intensity of the winter season,” said Sindre Knutsson, vice president on Rystad Energy’s gas markets team.

“Going forward, the United States will be energy independent on a monthly basis, and by 2030 total primary energy production will outpace primary energy demand by about 30%,” Knutsson added.

Rystad Energy predicts that the next monthly release from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) will reveal that the US has been self-sufficient in primary energy for a full 12-month period, from October 2018 through September 2019. This will mark the first time this has happened since 1982.

Crude oil and natural gas production will be the two main contributors to primary energy supply growth in the period through to 2030, Rystad is predicting.

Crude output is forecast to grow from 10.32m barrels per day in 2018 to 18.73m barrels per day in 2030, while local production of natural gas is expected to grow by 27% in the same period to 1.1trn cu m.

“The emerging energy surplus will make the US less vulnerable to foreign energy-related politics and facilitate growing exports. While renewable energy output will be consumed domestically, the future for oil and gas exports is bright,” Knutsson remarked, predicting the US is on course to become a net exporter of 0.6m barrels of equivalent per day of fossil fuels.

“The growth of the shale industry will continue to revolutionize the US energy balance and create new opportunities for exports and developments in the country’s total trade balance,” Knutsson observed.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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