At a recent Cambridge Energy Research Associates conference, Exxon executive Tom Walters made it unflinchingly clear that his company believes natural gas is in for a long-term growth phase in North America.
Walters joined a group of industry leaders to address a global gas plenary on “The Role of Natural Gas in the Future Energy Mix.” He noted that despite the effects of the recent economic downturn, the long-term outlook for natural gas is positive. “We expect global energy demand to increase nearly 30 per cent in the next 20 years. By 2030, global gas demand will be around 140 billion cubic feet per day higher than 2009,” he said.
The major driver of this demand is power generation, which will account for more than half of the gas demand growth, Walters said. He also emphasised the environmental benefits of natural gas as a source of power generation. “Natural gas is a cleaner burning source of fuel and power generation that over the next 20 years will continue to form an increasingly important role in the global energy mix. This can be attributed to its advantages of lower carbon emissions and greater flexibility into power generation.”
For anyone investing in the space, it’s good to see large energy names like Exxon betting on North American natural gas alongside you.
The author owns shares of Chesapeake Energy (CHK), a natural gas play.