Will natural gas be the bridge fuel
to a more environmentally friendly future? This fuel has played a
prominent role in many projections of future North American energy
market conditions. In recent months, however, a second look has cast a
more gloomy view. Resource experts have reduced their estimates of how
much gas might be coming from the Western Sedentary Basin of Alberta.
Domestic U.S. production has dipped at a time when gas prices have been
pushing upward. A new pessimism has supplanted the previous bullish
outlook for this energy source.
In response to a need for a balanced evaluation of natural gas markets,
Stanford University’s Energy Modeling Forum organized an ad hoc working
group. This working group was comprised of leading experts and advisors
from government, companies, research organizations, and universities.
Rather than presenting one view of how markets might unfold, the
process sought to explore the range of uncertainty and differences
among experts. To help focus the discussion, the group organized their
sessions around simulations from several models. This report summarizes
the main findings of this working group’s efforts.