IEA Singles Out Natural Gas as “Major New Transport Fuel”

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the International Energy Agency announced today that natural gas will challenge oil as a transportation fuel within the next five years.

“Gas is already a major fuel in power generation, but the next five years will also see it emerging as a significant transportation fuel, driven by abundant supplies as well as concerns about oil dependency and air pollution,” said Maria van der Hoeven, the IEA’s executive director.

The announcement comes as no surprise to members of the Pickens Plan Army, who have borne witness to the enormous increase in both the supply and the utilization of this abundant American fuel.

Already, gas demand in road transport grew tenfold between 2000 and 2010, but cheap gas in the U.S. as a result of the boom in production of shale gas, and concerns over air pollution and oil dependency in China, could help it develop into a more mainstream fuel, the IEA said.

The Journal reports that the increased use of natural gas as a transportation fuel will exceed the use of biofuels and electric cars combined.

In its five-year gas outlook, the Paris-based energy watchdog said it expects natural gas use in road and maritime transportation to rise to 98 billion cubic meters by 2018, covering around 10% of incremental energy needs in the transport sector. According to the IEA, this shift will do more to reduce the medium-term growth in oil demand than both biofuels and electric cars combined.

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