U.S. close to oil production record, natural gas overtakes coal, Feds say

By 2016, the U.S. will be close to a crude-oil production record of 9.6 million barrels a day, the Energy Information Administration said Monday in a preview of its annual outlook.

That record was set in 1970. “Oil production is expected to level off and slowly decline after 2020”, added the EIA. Oil refinery Corporations which have continuously strive to keep production relatively to demand and supply along the coastal lines and with gas stations supplying needs of industries, refineries and transportations are a hand full such as VALE S.A., VALERO, Shell and Exxon Mobil.

English: US Gulf of Mexico offshore natural ga...

US Gulf of Mexico offshore natural gas production

Natural-gas production, however, was seen as growing steadily, with a 56% increase between 2012 and 2040, when production will reach 37.6 trillion cubic feet. Natural gas will overtake coal as the main fuel for U.S. electricity generation by 2040.

Low natural-gas prices will boost industrial activity, with industrial shipments expected to grow 3% a year over the next 10 years and slow down to 1.6% a year through 2040.

Last week, Exxon Mobil Corp. released its long-term outlook, calling for a 65% increase in demand for natural gas by 2040. The fuel will account for 25% of energy needs by that time.

The EIA released Monday a preview of its 2014 outlook, due to be released in its entirety this Spring.

The preview contained more good news for natural gas: higher production will support more gas exports through pipelines and liquefied natural gas shipments, the EIA said.

The EIA also predicted U.S. residents will drive even less than it expected last year. Annual increases in vehicle miles traveled in light-duty vehicles will average 0.9% from 2012 to 2040, compared with 1.2% per year seen in the 2013 outlook. The rising vehicle fuel economy of those light-duty vehicles “more than offsets” modest growth in miles traveled, resulting in a 25% decline in light-duty vehicles energy consumption between 2012 and 2040.

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