Charles B. Curtis, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, spoke on the world energy balance and its impact on U.S. markets at the American Gas Association (A.G.A.) Natural Gas Roundtable on April 2 in Washington, DC. Curtis pointed out the security implications of the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecast that global demand for oil might reach an additional 20 million barrels a day by 2010, and that the Persian Gulf would likely supply 75 percent of that demand. In anticipation, Curtis urged, the United States must diversify its oil and natural gas supplies and expand research and development (R&D).
Currently, however, R&D in the United States is threatened by competitive pressures, and Curtis believes that situation could have serious implications for the gas industry. EIA sees growth for natural gas in all sectors of U.S. markets, especially electric generation. But that growth is tied to what happens with electric restructuring.
Curtis cited a speech given by Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Donald F. Santa, Jr. on