Preliminary Assessment of the Availability of U.S. Natural Gas Resources to Meet U.S. Transportation Energy Demand 2002-01-1926
Recent studies have indicated that substitutes for conventional petroleum resources will be needed to meet U.S. transportation energy demand in the first half of this century. One possible substitute is natural gas, which can be used as a transportation fuel directly in compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas vehicles or as resource fuel for the production of hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles. This paper contains a preliminary assessment of the availability of U.S. natural gas resources to meet future U.S. transportation fuel demand. Several scenarios of natural gas demand, including transportation demand, in the United States to 2050 are developed. Natural gas resource estimates for the United States are discussed. Potential Canadian and Mexican exports to the United States are estimated. Two scenarios of potential imports from outside North America are also developed. Considering all of these potential imports, U.S. natural gas production requirements to 2050 to meet the demand scenarios are developed and compared with the estimates of U.S. natural gas resources. The comparison results in a conclusion that (1) given the assumptions made, there are likely to be supply constraints on the availability of U.S. natural gas supply post-2020 and (2) if natural gas use in transportation grows substantially, it will have to compete with other sectors of the economy for that supply-constrained natural gas.