When I graduated from college, natural gas prices were at an all time high. The industry was booming and everyone was saying that natural gas is the energy of the future. When prices fell by half almost over night, I was still saying‚ “natural gas is the energy of the future”. It is as true a statement today as it was then.
My career has been spent in the natural gas industry. No matter what the price has been, the fundamental economics of natural gas continue to be solid. Natural gas, more than any other fuel in the world, has all the makings of the best fuel choice for our future.
As oil production continues to decline around the world, we are forced to begin looking into alternative sources of energy. No other readily available fuel has what it takes to maintain our economy as a whole. Nor is any other source as abundant. The kicker of natural gas is that it is domestic.
This is what our future natural gas fueled society will look like.
1. Security – Gone will be the days where the United States is dependent on fuel from hostile nations. We will no longer need to protect our interests in the Middle East. The North American continent will be mostly energy self-sufficient.
2. Transportation – 94% of our imported oil is currently burned via transportation. In the new natural gas fueled society, all our vehicles will run on CNG (compressed natural gas) or LNG (liquefied natural gas). The stations look and operate the same as traditional gasoline/diesel fuel stations. These stations currently exist and are rapidly being installed along the highways of our country. Allied Equipment is the nation’s largest manufacturer of CNG Storage Spheres for these stations.
3. Pollution Drops – With such a drastic reduction in particulate matter, our climate will have a chance to correct itself. Global Warming will no longer be a threat. Gone will be the smog of LA. Air quality will improve and so will the health of the nation.
4. Costs Remain the Same – Thanks to an abundance of natural gas and the relatively low cost of production, natural gas prices shouldn’t exceed the $10 to $15 a Mcf (million cubic feet) range in the future. This will result in gasoline gallon equivalent prices of an average of $3.00 or less at the pump across the nation. Many natural gas fired power plants are currently supplying power to the grid at competitive rates. Increasing the number of these plants will keep electricity prices from rising.
5. We Export – The United States currently will become a net exporter, funneling money from other nations into our own economy. We are the “Saudi Arabia of natural gas”. With current Asian demand at $16 a Mcf, the price should only continue to rise. Two new LNG export ships are currently on order and the Panama Canal is being expanded to accommodate these ships. The United States could export LNG within a few years.
This natural gas fueled society in the United States is a likely scenario as oil production continues to fall, conflict continues in the Middle East, and Americans become more comfortable with hydraulic fracturing. My personal hope is that my 2-year-old son is able to live his adult life in this natural gas society.
People may think I’m crazy about natural gas. The truth is, I’m crazy about America. I’m crazy about our economy, our health, and our security. For these reasons, I guess you could say I’m crazy about natural gas.