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The U.S. Is on Track to Become a Net Exporter of Energy

Shifting energy trends and growth have put the United States on track to become a net exporter of energy by 2022, according to new data from the United States Energy Information Association.

The 2018 Annual Energy Outlook report, released Tuesday by the EIA, provided long-term U.S. energy projections. The continued development of U.S. shale and gas resources, along with a small jump in energy consumption, contributes to the report's projection.

"The United States energy system continues to undergo an incredible transformation," EIA Administrator Linda Capuano said in a statement. "This is most obvious when one considers that the AEO [report] shows the United States becoming a net exporter of energy during the projection period in the Reference case and in most of the sensitivity cases as well—a very different set of expectations than we imagined even five or ten years ago."

A net importer of energy since 1953, the U.S. is projected to see growth in energy exports as a result of increased energy efficiency, new electricity generation "fueled by natural gas and renewables after 2022 in the Reference case," according to the study, and a continued projected growth in the production of liquids and natural gas through 2042 and 2050, respectively.

The report provides insight to domestic energy market projections through 2050. According to the study, which models projections based on certain assumptions and methodologies, economic conditions for U.S. oil producers will be favorable, projecting an expected rise in oil prices until 2040.

The annual report fulfills the EIA requirement established by the Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977, which aims "to secure effective management to assure a coordinated national energy policy, and for other purposes."