May 2016, Vol. 243, No. 5

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Industrial, Electric Power Sectors Drive Projected Growth for US Natural Gas

U.S. consumption of natural gas is projected to rise from 28 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in 2015 to 34 Tcf in 2040, an average increase of about 1% annually, according to EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2016 (AEO2016) Reference case. The industrial and electric power sectors make up 49% and 34% of this growth, respectively, while consumption growth in the residential, commercial, and transportation sectors is much lower. Much of this growth in natural gas consumption results from relatively low natural gas prices. In the AEO2016 Reference case, average annual U.S. natural gas prices at the Henry Hub are expected to remain around or below $5.00 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) (in 2

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