Northwest Gas Association’s 2013 Natural Gas Outlook Highlights Abundant Supply, Growing Generation Demand

Portland, OR – This week the Northwest Gas Association (NWGA) released the 2013 edition of their annual Natural Gas Outlook Study, a regional look at natural gas supply, demand and infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest.

Released annually, the Gas Outlook is a detailed ten-year look at expected natural gas demand, supply availability and prices in the Northwest. The Outlook offers unique insight, representing a consensus view of the regional natural gas market developed by industry participants directly serving Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia.

“The Northwest Gas Outlook is an important tool for industry participants and observers,” said Frank Morehouse, NWGA Board President and President and CEO of MDU Utilities Group. “It provides vital insight into our region as we discuss changes in natural gas demand during a period of historic domestic supply,” he added.

The 2013 release continues the trend of steady, yet modest, regional growth in natural gas demand; projecting an annual growth rate of 1.2%. This rate leads to cumulative growth of 10.3% by 2022, slightly higher than the 2012 study. The trend toward increased gas demand for power generation is also notable, rising from an annual rate of 1.0% in the 2012 report to 2.6% in the new release.

“Our regional load profile is changing, while industrial loads once made up almost half of our natural gas use today they make up a third, with the remainder closely split between generation, residential and commercial uses” said Dan Kirschner, Executive Director of the NWGA. Kirschner continued, “This trend reinforces the value of continued communication between regional stakeholders as abundant, clean burning natural gas remains a fundamental fuel for the Pacific Northwest.

The full text version of the 2013 Natural Gas Outlook Study is available to view or download at

The release of the 2013 Outlook comes on the heels of the publication of the Potential Gas Committee’s (PGC) biannual report estimating U.S. domestic natural gas resources to be at record levels.  The report, Potential Supply of Natural Gas in the United States, concludes that the United States possesses a technically recoverable natural gas resource potential of 2,384 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), an increase of more than 25 percent over the PGC’s 2011 report and the highest resource evaluation in the PGC’s 48-year history.