Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Natural Gas Gone Wild: Construction Boom Biggest in 60 Years

Yes, it surely is ironic. A few years ago when companies like Shell Oil and Chevron Texaco made plans to build 47 new Liquid Natural Gas terminals, it seemed that domestic supplies would be short.

But domestic producers also saw the need and moved to meet it.

The result is the biggest construction boom in natural gas infrastructure in the Southeast/Gulf Coast region since the late 1940s and early 1950s. (This region is the hub of major pipelines that move gas all over the country, including the Northeast) According to a report from Natural Gas Intelligence Press, there are 25 gas pipeline projects under way and 11 storage projects. The storage is being built because now there is an expectation of a surplus of supply coming from domestic operations and just four new LNG terminals in the area.

All of this is causing turmoil in the industry and is expected to bring about volatility in prices and other effects.

This underscores, once again, the madness of not having a coherent national energy policy.

It also highlights the question of whether there is really any need for Broadwater.

As I've written in earlier posts, overbuilding of LNG terminals is expected to leave them operating at below 50 percent capacity for years to come

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