U.S. natural gas demand is projected to grow 1.6% annually in volume terms through 2023, according to Natural Gas: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports.
Advances will derive from increased demand for energy in the electric power and industrial markets, Kallanish Energy reports. The electric power market is forecast to remain the largest and fastest growing sector, as low natural gas prices will encourage construction of natural gas-fired power plants and retirement of coal and nuclear plants, albeit at a slowing rate.
Increasing competition from solar and wind energy generation will prevent faster growth. Increases in energy efficiency throughout the various markets will also constrain gains.
Freedonia forecasts U.S. natural gas production will increase 3.1% per year through 2023. Producers stand to benefit from continued growth in unconventional production, most notably from shale basins/plays, while output from conventional wells is expected to decline.
Production is expected to receive a boost from expanding exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG liquefaction plants coming online in 2020 are expected to almost double LNG export capacity.
In addition, a second wave of LNG plant construction will be completed by the end of 2023, leading to an expected rapid increase in exports of LNG to overseas markets.