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U.S. crude oil production will keep setting annual records until 2027 and will remain higher than 14 million bpd through 2040, thanks to continuously growing shale production, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Thursday in its Annual Energy Outlook 2019 with projections to 2050.
The EIA issued forecasts for the next three decades based on a reference case and six side cases that include different assumptions about energy prices, economic activity, and technology and resource estimates.
“The United States has been a net energy importer since 1953, but continued growth in petroleum and natural gas exports results in the United States becoming a net energy exporter by 2020 in all cases,” the EIA said.
In the Reference case, the U.S. is expected to become a net exporter of petroleum liquids after 2020 as domestic crude oil production grows and domestic consumption of petroleum products declines.
“Near the end of the projection period, the United States returns to being a net importer of petroleum and other liquids on an energy basis as a result of increasing domestic gasoline consumption and falling domestic crude oil production in those years,” according to the EIA.
The U.S., which became a net natural gas exporter on an annual basis in 2017, continued to be a net natural gas exporter in 2018, meaning that it exported more natural gas than it imported.
“In the Reference case, U.S. natural gas trade, which includes shipments by pipeline from and to Canada and to Mexico as well as exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), will be increasingly dominated by LNG exports to more distant destinations,” the EIA says in its outlook.
In its January Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the EIA said last week that continuously rising U.S. shale production would make the United States a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products in the fourth quarter of 2020.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.