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EMF 9: North American Natural Gas Markets

This report describes the specifications of the scenarios selected by the EMF 9 Working Group, which is focusing on North American natural gas markets. The four-first round scenarios include: (1) an upper oil price path, (2) a lower oil price path, (3) a lower resource base, and (4) a higher gas demand due to policies and technologies affecting the electric utility sector.

Each scenario represents a combination of markets and regulatory environments, as shown in Table 1. For example, the upper oil price scenario combines an upper oil price trend with a reference set of resource and demand conditions and with a pro-competitive regulatory environment. This scenario also serves as a control case for comparing the other scenarios, which specify a change in one of the environments for oil prices, resources, or demand. The regulatory environment has been maintained constant across these first-round scenarios, but may be changed depending upon the later recommendations of the regulatory policy and market structure study group.

The next section describes the detailed specifications for modelers in simulating the upper oil price scenario. Guidance is offered for energy prices, economic activity, and resource base estimates. The next three sections describe the other three scenarios that involve changes in these inputs from their values in the upper oil price scenario. Special wellhead price assumptions for stand-along supply models and plans for developing inputs for Canadian models are then discussed. The final section describes the output variables to be reported to the EMF staff for comparing model results.