EIA Annual Energy Outlook: US reducing dependence on oil imports

The United States is reducing its dependence on foreign oil, but the country has less natural gas than previously thought, according to a preview of this year’s Annual Energy Outlook report produced by the US Energy Information Administration.

The report projects trends and issues that could have major implications for US energy markets through 2035, based on current policies or final regulations, according to USA Today. The full 2012 report is due to be released in April.

The EIA estimates the United States will import just 36 percent of its petroleum by 2035, down from 60 percent in 2005, the Washington Post reported.

"These projections reflect increased energy efficiency throughout the economy, updated assessments of energy technologies and domestic energy resources…and projected slow economic growth," EIA's Acting Administrator Howard Gruenspecht said, according to USA Today.

Both the Obama administration’s new fuel-economy standards for cars and lights trucks and increased oil and gas production in domestic spots like North Dakota have helped reduce the need for foreign oil, the EIA said, according to the Washington Post.

In the report, the EIA also reveals that, last year, it overestimated natural gas resources in the US, the Wall Street Journal reported. EIA now calculates there are 480 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in the US, notably less than earlier estimates of 830 trillion cubic feet.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

The bulk of the downward revision was the result of changing expectations for the Marcellus, which stretches across Pennsylvania and New York. The EIA says it believes there are 141 trillion cubic feet in the shale, down from 410 trillion cubic feet projected in 2011.

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