Market Demand

EIA studies and projections indicate

  • increases in natural gas production
  • relatively stable prices
  • continued growth as a transportation fuel
  • Heavy duty Vehicle sector will lead the growth of natural gas 25+ years

Heavy-duty vehicles dominate natural gas consumption in the transportation sector

Figure 74. Natural gas consumption in the transportation sector, 1995-2040 (quadrillion Btu)

Natural gas, as compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG), is the fastest-growing fuel in the transportation sector, with an average annual growth rate of 11.9 percent from 2011 to 2040 (Figure 74). HDVs – which include tractor trailers, vocational vehicles, buses, and heavy-duty pickups and vans with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more – lead the growth in natural gas demand throughout the projection period. Natural gas fuel consumption by HDVs increases from almost zero in 2011 to more than 1 quadrillion Btu in 2040, at an average annual growth rate of 14.6 percent.

Figure 6. Transportation energy consumption by fuel, 1990-2040 (quadrillion Btu)

Figure 7. U.S dry natural gas consumption by sector, 2005-2040 (trillion cubic feet)

U.S Energy Information Administration | Annual Energy Outlook 2013

The IEA’s Chief Economist Faith Birol declared:

The era of cheap oil is over. Each barrel of oil that will come to market in the future will be much more difficult to product and therefore more expensive. We all… should be prepared for oil prices being much higher than several years ago.

The more difficult and more expensive barrels will be coming from unconventional sources, which the IEA thinks will play an “increasingly important” role in the future world oil supply through 2035.

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