Exxon Expects Natural Gas to Overtake Coal by 2030

Alternative energy sources will still account for small percentage of overall production.

Exxon Mobil Corp. projects energy demand will grow 35% by 2030 from 2005 levels, and natural gas will overtake coal as the second-largest energy source behind oil.

Exxon published its projections Jan. 27 in its annual energy outlook survey of 100 countries, 15 demand sectors and 20 fuel types.

The forecast shows the business and government sectors will shift toward natural gas as they seek cleaner and more efficient energy sources, said Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson in a statement. Natural gas demand will be the highest in China where demand is expected to be six times 2005 levels.

New shale gas supplies and other unconventional energy sources will play a significant role in meeting the increased natural gas demand, Tillerson said.

Natural gas demand for electric power generation will grow by 85% globally, Exxon projects.
In the United States unconventional gas supplies will account for more than 50% of the nation's gas demand by 2030, Exxon says.

Oil, natural gas and coal will continue to be the dominant energy sources through 2030 because of their availability, Exxon reports.

The wind, solar and biofuels demand is expected to grow 10% annually but will account for only 2.5% of total energy production, according to Exxon.

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