According to the early release of the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook 2009 (AEO2009), the latest projections expect virtually no growth in U.S. oil consumption for the first time in more than 20 years.
EIA said that the combination of recently enacted CAFE standards, requirements for increased use of renewable fuels, and an assumed rebound in oil prices as the world economy recovers will reduce oil consumption. U.S. net dependence on imported liquids will decline dramatically over the next 20 years as the use of biofuels is expected to grow.
“With overall liquid fuel demand in the AEO2009 reference case growing by only 1 million barrels per day between 2007 and 2030, increased use of domestically produced biofuels, and rising domestic oil production spurred by higher prices, the net import share of total liquids supplied, including biofuels, declines from 58% in 2007 to less than 40% in 2025 before increasing to 41% in 2030,” the report said.
EIA projects the world crude oil price to be near $60 in 2009, but said it will rise as the global economy rebounds and global demand starts to grow more rapidly than the non-OPEC liquids supply, projecting the 2030 average real price of crude oil at $130 per barrel in 2007 dollars, or $189 per barrel in nominal dollars.
After averaging $101.46 in 2008, EIA projects a barrel of crude oil to average $63.53 in 2009, $82.09 in 2010, $91.59 in 2011 and $102.52 in 2012. In fact, after a nearly $40 drop in price projected for this year, it does not predict it will fall year-over-year again through 2030, the date the projections end.
EIA projects a sharp increase in the sale of unconventional vehicle technologies such as flex-fuel, hybrid and diesel vehicles, with plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) sales projected to grow to 90,000 vehicles annually by 2014. In addition, they expect ethanol use for gasoline blending to increase to 12.2 billion gallons and E85 consumption to rise to 17.3 billion gallons in 2030.
Total number of miles traveled by freight trucks is expected to decrease slightly in 2009, EIA said, falling from 231 billion miles driven in 2008 to 226 billion miles in 2009, before increasing to 232 billion in 2010 and 244 billion in 2011.