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Natural gas boom continues

 

Interest remains keen in natural gas production from shale reserves in the US.  In fact, as the map above shows (red areas), North America has more assessed basins of shale oil than any other region of the world, leading some to believe that future shale oil and gas production and exports will lead the US to economic prosperity.

As we reported in 2012,” lower natural gas prices are creating a structural economic advantage for the US, and is becoming a new competitive strength for U.S. manufacturers. Companies who purchase energy in Asia pay up to six times as much for natural gas as their counterparts in Texas and Louisiana.  Significantly, low U.S. natural gas prices should encourage an expansion in U.S. natural gas exports, especially once LNG terminals go online starting in 2014 and 2015.”

With the cost of natural gas remaining at a historically very low level, the process of exporting compressed natural gas  is becoming a reality.  For example, in May, 2013 the Obama administration approved a $10 billion facility in Freeport, Texas,  previously a second facility was approved at Sabine Pass in Louisiana, and  a third facility recently obtained conditional approval (Dominion Resources) at Cove Point, Maryland.  Exports are expected to begin in 2017 and 2015 respectively for the approved facilities.  In all, another 18 applications to export gas are being reviewed, indicating that this new business promises to be a very significant growth driver of the US economy.  Indicative of the magnitude of this industry, the approved facilities are each expected to export at least about a billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas per day.

 

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