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New gas demand price driver, forecast shows

Benteck says gas demand could drive prices higher.

By
Daniel J. Graeber
Forecast sees changes in North American natural gas demand. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian
Forecast sees changes in North American natural gas demand. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Emerging and recovering demand for natural gas in North American could translate to an end to the era of cheap energy resources, a forecast shows.

Bentek Energy, a forecasting unit of energy reporting group Platts, said non-traditional and recovering sources of gas demand could pass the 5 million cubic feet per day mark by 2019.

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These new sources of demand, from new export facilities for liquefied natural gas to more gas-fired power plants, could be a driver in a future North American shale market.

Rocco Canonica, lead author of a 50-page report on demand, said the trends show an era where cheap energy reserves sourced from shale basins in North America may be drawing to a close.

"If demand growth reaches its full potential, we could expect a tighter U.S. market and upward price pressure," he said in a statement Wednesday.

The American Petroleum Institute, which represents the interests of the energy sector, said the U.S. economy would be better off with more natural gas production, particularly if producers could tap into export markets.

A 2012 report from NERA Economic Consulting said there would be "net economic benefits" from exports.

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