U.S. Expected to Reach New Record for Fossil Fuel Production This Year
The year 2023 is already expected to be the hottest on record, following a record-hot summer. But despite this, the U.S. is expected to reach record numbers in fossil fuel production for the year.
Liquified natural gas exports from North America are expected to double through 2027, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently reported. Most of the liquified natural gas projects under construction in North America are in the U.S., particularly concentrated in the Gulf of Mexico, where a major oil spill with over 1 million barrels of crude oil was recently discovered.
The latest short-term energy outlook from EIA forecasted that for 2023, crude oil production in the U.S. will reach 12.9 million barrels per day, up from 11.27 million barrels per day in 2021 and 11.91 million barrels per day in 2022. Further, the administration estimated that in 2024, U.S. crude oil production will reach 13.15 million barrels daily.
Overall, U.S. officials predict that oil and gas production will likely continue reaching near-record levels year after year to 2050, The Guardian reported.
“It’s particularly alarming to see the projections of record U.S. oil and gas production year after year until 2050,” Michael Lazarus, a senior scientist at Stockholm Environment Institute, told The Guardian. “The U.S. is locking in production for years that makes it hard to meet climate goals. It’s out of sync and it needs reckoning.”
Globally, countries are slated to be producing 110% more fossil fuels by 2030, despite many countries having pledges to reach net-zero emissions, a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report found.
The U.S., which has targeted net-zero emissions by 2050 and is expected to see declines in coal production by 2030, is the top producer of oil and gas in the world, according to the Production Gap Report.
While fossil fuel production is increasing in the U.S., EIA expects gasoline consumption in the U.S. to decline in 2024, but only by 1%. Still, EIA said that if gas consumption declines 1% next year, it will be the lowest gasoline consumption per capita in 20 years. The administration noted that remote work, improving fuel efficiency in vehicles, higher gas prices and high inflation could contribute to this decline in consumption.
U.S. emissions are expected to decline about 3% for 2023, from around 4,939 million metric tons of carbon emissions in 2022 to 4,786 million metric tons in 2023, EIA reported.
“We expect slightly less emissions this winter than in recent winters,” EIA shared in a report. “Less-than-average winter emissions are the result of several factors, including higher-than-average temperatures, improvements in energy efficiency, and decreases in the carbon intensity of electricity and space heating.”
U.S. carbon emissions are expected to fall by 1% in 2024. But the decline in emissions is not happening quickly enough to reach the country’s net-zero targets by 2050, The Guardian reported.
A recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report found that globally, countries are “severely off track” to limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Global emissions need to decline by 43% by 2030, compared to 2019 levels.