Publication Detail

North American Natural Gas and Energy Markets in Transition: Insights from Global Models



Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)

Suggested Citation:
Yeh, Sonia, Yiyong Cai, Daniel Huppman, Paul Bernstein, Sugandha Tuladhar, Hillard G. Huntington (2016) North American Natural Gas and Energy Markets in Transition: Insights from Global Models. Energy Economics 60, 405 - 415

This modeling comparison exercise looks at the global consequences of increased shale gas production in the U.S. and increased gas demand from Asia. We find that differences in models' theoretical construct and assumptions can lead to divergences in their predictions about the consequences of U.S. shale gas boom. In general, models find that U.S. High Shale Gas scenario leads to increased U.S. production, lower global gas prices, and lower gas production in non-U.S. regions. Gas demand in Asia alone has little effects on U.S. production; but together with the shale gas boom, the U.S. can have a large export advantage. Overall, models find U.S. exports level range from 0.06 to 13.7 trillion cubic feet (TCF) in 2040. The comparison of supply, demand, and price changes in response to shocks reveals important differences among models. First is how the demand shocks were implemented and how the model responds to shocks: static and elastic within each time period vs. endogenous to the long-term gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Second is how the supply response is expressed through fuel/technology substitutions, particularly the flexibility of cross-fuel substitution in the power sector. Identifying these differences is important in understanding the model's insights and policy recommendations.

Keywords: Shale gas; Energy economic models; Natural gas; Asian gas demand; International gas trade