Domestic natural gas production: boom or bust?

posted at 6:01 pm on March 31, 2014 by Bruce McQuain

All the indicators are it should be a big “boom” for the US, providing both jobs and investment:

Companies will need to invest $641 billion over the next two decades in pipelines, pumps and other infrastructure to keep up with the gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids flowing from U.S. fields, according to a study released Tuesday.

The analysis, prepared by ICF International for two natural gas advocacy groups, predicts that $30 billion worth of new midstream infrastructure will be needed each year through 2035 — essentially triple the $10 billion in average annual investments over the past decade.

“We’re in a heavy growth period right now, said Kevin Petak, an economist with ICF who authored the study. “The next six years appears to be a pretty heavy period for expenditure and investment.”

Almost half of the projected spending — $14.2 billion per year — will be needed to accommodate new gas supplies and connect new shale plays with existing infrastructure and yet-to-be-built facilities, according to the report. Some 35,000 miles of new transmission pipelines will be needed, along with 303,000 miles of gas gathering lines, the study found.

“Significant development of natural gas infrastructure (is projected) to accommodate the rapidly growing gas supplies from shale,” the report said. “Much new gas gathering and pipeline infrastructure will be needed well into the future.”

Of course this is all dependent on the usual approvals in the face of a determined “green” minority who was for natural gas before they were against it.  A good indicator of what we’re likely to see in the next few years is found in the “green” opposition to the expansion of the Cove Point LNG terminal:

Cove Point is emerging as a major test of environmentalists’ ability to block — or seriously slow — midstream energy infrastructure projects in a bid to stop the oil and gas production happening upstream as well as the burning of those fossil fuels downstream.

“There clearly is a view from certain people that increased U.S. energy production is not a good thing and … there’s only so much carbon we can put in the atmosphere,” said Jason Bordoff, a former White House adviser who now heads Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. “The lesson they take from that is we have to do everything we can to keep fossil fuels in the ground.”

Cove Point is “the Keystone fight of the east”, one activist claimed, referring to the attempts to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.  If so, and if indicative of the future, then a huge and promising economic boom will be all but still born.  And, as long as this administration is in power, you can expect it to be complicit in that still birth.

~McQ

 

 


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Fraking causes earthquakes 1111ty!!!!!

oscarwilde on March 31, 2014 at 6:10 PM

See, this is the suicidal schizophrenia of the Left. Drilling our way to prosperity pays for all of their social experiments, but nooooooo, we may hurt a smelt or something.

John the Libertarian on March 31, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Fraking causes earthquakes 1111ty!!!!!

oscarwilde on March 31, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Then I wish they’d stop fracking here in Orange County California. Those damn frackers keep knocking stuff off my shelves.

dirtseller on March 31, 2014 at 6:17 PM

And when we are all living in caves these idiots will scream about you burning wood to stay warm!

Old Dog on March 31, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Treading on Erica’s turf there Bruce? It was nice reading one of these energy posts without one of Erica’s seemingly obligatory paragraph-long run-on sentences starting out the article though.

pain train on March 31, 2014 at 6:18 PM

No fossil fuels, no hydro-electric dams, no nuclear… Humans should just go some place and die. Save mother gaia.

This is insanity. Where do these people get all their political clout?

Kaffa on March 31, 2014 at 6:21 PM

we may hurt a smelt or something.

Yeah, I smelt something.

tdarrington on March 31, 2014 at 6:23 PM

No fossil fuels, no hydro-electric dams, no nuclear… Humans should just go some place and die. Save mother gaia.

The GOP can learn something from the greenies. If you build your tent too big, eventually your movement begins to contradict itself and look silly(er).

tdarrington on March 31, 2014 at 6:25 PM

And when we are all living in caves these idiots will scream about you burning wood to stay warm!

Old Dog on March 31, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Yea, but in my cave, they’ll be doing all of their screaming from the bottom of my fire pit, where I’ll be burning them for heat…

oscarwilde on March 31, 2014 at 6:29 PM

And, as long as this administration is in power, you can expect it to be complicit in that still birth.

This administration gravitates toward aborting well before a stillborn.

Mark Boabaca on March 31, 2014 at 6:30 PM

The greenies (green on the outside, red on the inside) and EPA will do all they can to prevent this.

sadatoni on March 31, 2014 at 6:31 PM

boom or bust?

…bust!….until the boob is gone!

KOOLAID2 on March 31, 2014 at 6:33 PM

said Jason Bordoff, a former White House adviser who now heads Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. “The lesson they take from that is we have to do everything we can to keep fossil fuels in the ground.”

A$$hats like Mr. Bordoff should be forced to live with no heat or A/C and must walk or ride a bike in order to get around. If he had to live but the same rules he wishes to impose on the rest of us he would be “doing everything he could to get fossil fuels OUT of the ground”

Ditkaca on March 31, 2014 at 6:37 PM

A$$hats like Mr. Bordoff should be forced to live with no heat or A/C and must walk or ride a bike in order to get around. If he had to live but the same rules he wishes to impose on the rest of us he would be “doing everything he could to get fossil fuels OUT of the ground”

Ditkaca on March 31, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Not to mention only consume local foods.

astonerii on March 31, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Rather than keeping America’s energy wealth in the ground, we should put these Watermelon mutton heads (my apologies to sheep) six feet in the ground.

vnvet on March 31, 2014 at 6:46 PM

See, this is the suicidal schizophrenia of the Left. Drilling our way to prosperity pays for all of their social experiments, but nooooooo, we may hurt a smelt or something.

John the Libertarian on March 31, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Never confuse an excuse with a motive.

And when we are all living in caves these idiots will scream about you burning wood to stay warm!

Old Dog on March 31, 2014 at 6:18 PM

No, they’ll scream about you putting CO2 into the air…by breathing. Then they’ll sacrifice you to “Holy Mother Gaia”.

No fossil fuels, no hydro-electric dams, no nuclear… Humans should just go some place and die. Save mother gaia.

This is insanity. Where do these people get all their political clout?

Kaffa on March 31, 2014 at 6:21 PM

I forget who said it, but there’s an axiom that the entire point of modern social systems is the possession of power without merit. That is, that people feel “entitled” to power less due to what they are capable of then simply of who they are or what they represent.

You are dealing with the products of a closed social structure every bit as insular as any clerisy. Or, for that matter, the great houses of Renaissance Italy, the Ton of Edwardian London, or the Four Hundred of interwar New York.

They go to the same schools, study under the same professors, and as adults all belong to the same “interest groups”. All of which are mightily pissed-off at everyone else on Earth for not acknowledging this lot’s “innate superiority”, and bending the knee.

Inevitably, any such clerisy becomes obsessed with Perfection. And comes to believe that they, and only they, are examples of same.

It’s a short step from there to concluding that they should, by right, rule the world. And an even shorter one to the belief that civilization is inadequate to their needs. Or worse yet, a handicap to their Apotheosis.

Right now, they’re split between the ones who want to rule a primitivist socialist world, the ones who want a return to a pre-industrial feudalism, and those who just want to exterminate humanity. Except for their own perfect selves, of course.

Starving the world of energy, especially the nation-state they hate the most (this one), is in their estimation one big step toward their goal- the abolition of Man.

clear ether

eon

eon on March 31, 2014 at 7:20 PM

a determined “green” minority who was for natural gas before they were against it

And they will oppose wind and solar if it ever turns a profit (at least then they might begin to worry about the eagles flying into windmills).

Alopen on March 31, 2014 at 7:33 PM

This is insanity. Where do these people get all their political clout?

Kaffa on March 31, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Rich socialists who are making money from other industries.

crankyoldlady on March 31, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Don’t believe this none sense. They aren’t stopping a damned thing. There are new wells starting all over the place here. Pipelined to a huge processing plant that’s being built, too.

School district & counties that only a few years ago were looking to lay off are now flush with cash.

A non skilled guy willing to show up on time & work can make $80k.

Repubs & dems working together. (Most of the sweat spots are in heavy blue districts.)

frank on March 31, 2014 at 8:35 PM

Companies will need to invest $641 billion over the next two decades

If Pelosi had offered that much spending in “stimulus” and unemployment payments, we’d be hearing about the $1.9 trillion (3 x 641) in economic activity it would generate.

Since it will be private investments, she’ll claim its a waste of money.

BobMbx on March 31, 2014 at 8:51 PM

The Greens are quite likely doing more good than harm, by complete accident of course.

The government lands shutdown of new production has helped the price of nat gas move to higher levels. The price is still affordable on the consumer end (oversupply had prices at ridiculous lows), and now profits at least exist on the production end, which has reopened a lot of shut-in wells. This also helps push production on private lands as govt land is difficult or closed. Even after taxes, this pushes relatively more wealth toward private hands than it sends to govt. Mineral rights owners are collecting royalties for example. And states are collecting taxes on the private land in production.

The closed lands will all get drilled later, and the product will be produced at a higher price, throwing off higher profits, creating better paying jobs, and keeping the air cleaner than any other source of fuel we have in use.

I suggest simply mocking them. They can’t control this situation any better than they can control the weather.

We are producing a LOT more gas and oil and USA CO2 emissions have been in decline since 2007 as a result (gas = clean).

90% of all new wells are fracked because the easy, cheap lands have been produced. The Greens can’t stop it, people aren’t going without heat as asses will be kicked in a hurry.

Meremortal on March 31, 2014 at 9:58 PM