Duke Energy CEO cautions on natural gas

Duke Energy Corp. CEO James E. Rogers said the U.S. should be careful about depending on natural gas for energy, Bloomberg reported. The fuel's historic volatility, questions about accessible reserves and the possible environmental implications of drilling all raise concerns, Rogers told reporters after a speech in Washington, D.C.

“If shale gas turns out to be a mirage,” and the U.S. has switched too much electricity production to gas-fueled power plants, the country will need to import liquefied natural gas (LNG), he was quoted as saying. The price of LNG is closely tied to global oil prices.

Duke is building two natural gas-fired power plants. In early March the Shaw Group Inc. received full notice to proceed on a 620 MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant at Duke Energy's Dan River Steam Station in North Carolina. The unit will replace two older units at the plant and is scheduled to begin operation in late 2012. Shaw is also constructing a new 620 MW gas-fired unit at Duke's Buck Steam Station in North Carolina, which is scheduled for completion in late 2011.

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