Annual Energy Outlook 2012

Factors that Shape U.S. Energy Markets Long Term

Projections in the Annual Energy Outlook 2012 (AEO2012) Reference case focus on the factors that shape U.S. energy markets in the long term, under the assumption that current laws and regulations remain generally unchanged throughout the projection period. The AEO2012 Reference case provides the basis for examination and discussion of energy market trends and serves as a starting point for analysis of potential changes in U.S. energy policies, rules, or regulations or potential technology breakthroughs. Some of the highlights in the AEO2012 Reference case include:

  • Projected growth of energy use slows over the projection period, reflecting an extended economic recovery and increasing energy efficiency in end-use applications
  • Domestic crude oil production increases
  • With modest economic growth, increased efficiency, growing domestic production, and continued adoption of nonpetroleum liquids, net petroleum imports make up a smaller share of total liquids consumption
  • Natural gas production increases throughout the projection period

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