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EMF 20: Natural Gas, Fuel Diversity, and North American Energy Markets



Will natural gas be the bridge fuelto a more environmentally friendly future? This fuel has played aprominent role in many projections of future North American energymarket conditions. In recent months, however, a second look has cast amore gloomy view. Resource experts have reduced their estimates of howmuch gas might be coming from the Western Sedentary Basin of Alberta.Domestic U.S. production has dipped at a time when gas prices have beenpushing upward. A new pessimism has supplanted the previous bullishoutlook 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 workinggroup. This working group was comprised of leading experts and advisorsfrom government, companies, research organizations, and universities.Rather than presenting one view of how markets might unfold, theprocess sought to explore the range of uncertainty and differencesamong experts. To help focus the discussion, the group organized theirsessions around simulations from several models. This report summarizesthe main findings of this working group’s efforts.

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