After years of steadily rising prices, “low-cost fuel” may seem like an oxymoron.
But thanks to a steady surge in domestic oil and gas production, energy experts say consumers could enjoy inexpensive gasoline and natural gas for years to come.
“The outlook is for a low-cost energy economy in the U.S.,” said Daniel Fine, associate director of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy, which is run by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro. “This is a long-term trend, not an isolated event, and it’s something almost revolutionary.”
The country’s newfound oil and gas boom, made possible by modern drilling technologies, has helped keep gasoline prices well below the $4-per-gallon peaks that consumers faced just a few years ago. It’s also driven home-heating bills to record lows since 2009.
Now, with production still climbing fast, Fine and others say natural-gas prices will remain moderately low for another five to 10 years at least. And gasoline prices likely will continue to fall into 2014, before stabilizing at somewhere above $2 per gallon for the foreseeable future.
“I believe gasoline will reach $2.35 a gallon or less quite soon, within a year at most,” Fine said.
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