Natural-gas rigs are stopping production because of a shortage of pipeline capacity

This doesn’t directly have anything to do with the Keystone XL pipeline per se, but it does once again highlight just how dumb that entirely trumped-up and drawn-out debate really is. America already has a network of more than two million miles worth of pipeline sprawling across the United States, but because of the recent oil-and-gas production boom brought on by technological innovations in fracking, we still need millions more as well as a whole slew of existing infrastructure updates. Without more pipelines, we’ll be working underneath entirely self-imposed restrictions on our production capacity — a phenomenon that’s already happening, via Bloomberg:

Rigs targeting natural gas in the U.S. slipped from a one-month high with drillers limited by a shortage of pipeline capacity to move supplies to market.

The gas count dropped by one to 325 this week, data posted on Baker Hughes Inc.’s website today show. Rigs drilling for the power-plant fuel declined in U.S. plays from the Fayetteville of Arkansas to the Haynesville in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, the Houston-based field services company said. …

U.S. rigs drilling for natural gas slid by 29 in the past year even as prices gained, underscoring the record volume from existing rigs. The boom has companies jockeying for transportation capacity as output in the Marcellus alone is set to rise by 25 percent in June from a year earlier, according to Bloomberg Industries data.

“Why drill it if you can’t sell it?” James Williams, president of energy consulting firm WTRG Economics, said today by telephone from London, Arkansas. “There are still several thousand wells waiting to connect to pipelines.”

And seeing as how Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is about to reveal tough new emissions regulations for existing power plants that are going to shut down a lot of our coal-generated electricity, we’re probably going to want to build up the capacity to deliver all the natural gas we can manage to produce as quickly and efficiently as possible.

This little tidbit, however, does directly have a lot to do with Keystone XL pipeline, and yet again underscores the utter pointlessness of the anti-pipeline eco-radicals’ relentlessly single-minded campaign, via Reuters:

Canadian exports of crude oil by rail hit a record high of 160,000 barrels per day in the first quarter of 2014, Canada’s National Energy Board says, a more than 50 percent rise from the same period a year earlier.

Canada shipped 160,164 bpd out of the country by rail between January and March, a sharp rise from the first quarter of 2013, when it exported 105,632 bpd, the NEB said on Friday. The first-quarter figure was a 7 percent increase from the final quarter of 2013, when 149,479 bpd were exported by rail.

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