ANGA president calls for sharper focus on gas transportation issues

America’s Natural Gas Alliance Pres. Martin J. Durbin called for a stronger focus on transportation as he outlined issues that the US gas industry faces following the 2014 midterm elections and heading into 2015.

“We’re incredibly prepared for a cold winter after record injections this summer,” he told reporters during a Nov. 17 teleconference. “With increased production, high injection rates, and pipeline infrastructure that’s being built, natural gas looks as if it’s ready for just about anything.”

Durbin cited $19 billion in pipelines projects that are slated to come online during 2014, with 57% of these targeted for the US Northeast. “These are critical projects. The issue is not whether we have enough gas, but if we can get it to areas where it’s needed,” he said.

ANGA broadly would like to see all of these projects move forward, he said, and the alliance will provide education about benefits that would be provided in the Northeast if pipelines are built there.

“It’s ironic that New England is close to one of the most prolific gas production regions in the country, but can’t seem to get much of its gas,” Durbin said, referring to the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania. “Pipelines seem to be the only way to get it to consumers there aren’t extensive storage options around.”

ANGA Chief Economist Erica Bowman, who also participated in the teleconference, said, “Several projects have added around 4 bcfd of capacity in the Marcellus region, which would help alleviate price spikes in the New York region this winter.”

Regarding LNG exports, Durbin said he was more optimistic than he was previously. “We’ve seen the [US Department of Energy’s national interest review] process move forward,” he said. “When it made the change, we thought it was positive but decided to wait and see. So far, it looks as if DOE has moved fairly quickly once applicants complete their [National Environmental Policy Act] reviews and obtain [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] approvals.”

Durbin said it also was positive when US Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) withdrew his LNG export bill from markup by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Nov. 13 after talking with US Sec. of Energy Ernest G. Moniz.

“The outlook is certainly better,” he said. “I think it’s a sign of the strong bipartisan support in Congress to move this forward.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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