The price of crude oil barrels continues to remain stagnant as the demand has seen a sharp decrease. So far it’s meant good news for the consumer as gas prices across the country are at some of the lowest rates in years.
Yet one of the energy sectors that has been steadily growing over the last couple years though is that of natural gas. An agricultural credit bank, Cobank, recently released a report indicating the demand for natural gas from the United States is expected to rise significantly over the next few years, according to the industry news source OilandGasInvestor.com.
The report is entitled accordingly: “U.S. Natural Gas Outlook through 2020: Demand is the New Captain of the Ship.” In it they predict that, over the next five years, the demand for U.S. natural gas will increase by 25% overall, with half of that number going directly to exports.
The author of the report, Taylor Gunn, is a Senior Economist at Cobank’s Knowledge Exchange Division. The division provides information and insights into many of the different industries Cobank is invested in. In a statement Gunn said the industry shift is “definitely a game changer for the global gas markets.”
A big part of this growth comes as a direct result of recent U.S. hydraulic fracturing efforts. In 2013 there were two million hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells in the U.S., and the vast majority of new wells drilled — up to 95% — are made by fracking, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).
According to the report, the U.S. will be a net exporter of natural gas within two years. This would cement the country’s position as a major global energy provider.
The demand is expected to keep increasing, but the study’s authors don’t believe that will have much of an effect on the price either.
The investment research and analytics firm, MarketRealist.com, supported this conclusion with data of their own. Recent articles and graphs on their site show that the price of natural gas is remaining flat, while the reported stockpile of gas in the country rose for the 25th consecutive week as of September 24.