Growing natural gas supply is being met by new demand from exports and vehicles, but the surge in production of the fuel is keeping a lid on prices in California. Over the next 20 years, the price of natural gas is expected to rise gradually and stay free of volatility, according to new projections the California Energy Commission unveiled July 17 at a meeting in Sacramento. \tGas prices are not expected to exceed $8\/MMBtu any time before 2030, said Robert Kennedy, Energy Commission analyst. That\u2019s even under the agency\u2019s high price scenario. Under its low price forecast scenario, he explained, gas doesn\u2019t go above $6\/MMBtu before 2030. Today, it\u2019s about $4\/MMBtu. \tWhile increasing exports of gas to Mexico and overseas in the form of liquefied natural gas are expected with growing supply, they should have a minimal impact on gas prices, according to the Energy Commission analysis. \tLikewise, according to the commission\u2019s projection, the state\u2019s renewable energy portfolio may cause a dip in gas use in a decade, but the decrease is likely to be offset by rising demand for natural gas as a transportation fuel. \tOne wild card is the potential for industrial demand to increase, noted Dorothy Rothrock, California Manufacturers & Technology Association vice president. She said with growing wages overseas and increasing transportation costs as the price of oil has climbed, a lot of manufacturers are considering expanding operations in the U.S., which could boost demand for natural gas. \tPetrochemical industry expansion is particularly expected because of the growing availability of natural gas to use as feedstock for making a variety of chemical products, explained Erica Bowman, America\u2019s Natural Gas Alliance chief economist. \tNationwide, the industrial demand for natural gas is expected to rise about 20 percent over the next decade, with growth centered along the Gulf Coast, said Chris Ellsworth, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission market oversight branch chief. \tMexico is expected to import more gas through pipelines from the U.S. too. According to Ellsworth, it is predicted to import up to 5 Bcf\/day more. \tAt the same time, though, gas production in California is set to increase ten-fold as the Monterey Shale is tapped by drillers. The formation in Kern County and north could produce up to 1 Tcf by 2025, according to Peter Puglia, Energy Commission specialist. \t\u201cYou can\u2019t really ignore the Monterey Shale anymore,\u201d he said. \tMeanwhile, ramping renewable energy up to 40 percent by 2025 could dampen demand for natural gas by power generators, noted Dede Subakti, California Independent System Operator operations engineering services director. \tThe Energy Commission expects to issue a final forecast later this year as part of its Integrated Energy Policy Report proceeding, said Ivin Rhine, who is heading the effort for the agency. The goal is to inform the state\u2019s energy policy with projections for both the supply and likely price of natural gas into the future, he noted.