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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What Will Happen if Plans to Export Natural Gas Come to Fruition?

From Our Finite World:
Quiz:
1. How much natural gas is the United States currently extracting?
(a) Barely enough to meet its own needs
(b) Enough to allow lots of exports
(c) Enough to allow a bit of exports
(d) The United States is a natural gas importer
Answer: (d) The United States is a natural gas importer, and has been for many years. The EIA is forecasting that by 2017, we will finally be able to meet our own natural gas needs.
Figure 1. US Natural Gas recent history and forecast, based on EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2014 Early Release Overview
Figure 1. US Natural Gas recent history and forecast, based on EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2014 Early Release Overview
In fact, this last year, with a cold winter, we have had a problem with excessively drawing down amounts in storage.
Figure 2. US EIA's chart showing natural gas in storage, compared to the five year average, from Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report.
Figure 2. US EIA’s chart showing natural gas in storage, compared to the five year average, from Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report.
There is even discussion that at the low level in storage and current rates of production, it may not be possible to fully replace the natural gas in storage before next fall.
2. How much natural gas is the United States talking about exporting?
(a) A tiny amount, less than 5% of what it is currently producing.
(b) About 20% of what it is currently producing.
(c) About 40% of what it is currently producing.
(d) Over 60% of what it is currently producing.
The correct answer is (d) Over 60% what it is currently producing. If we look at the applications for natural gas exports found on the Energy.Gov website, we find thatapplications for exports total 42 billion cubic feet a day, most of which has already been approved.* This compares to US 2013 natural gas production of 67 billion cubic feet a day. In fact, if companies applying for exports build the facilities in, say, 3 years, and little additional natural gas production is ramped up, we could be left with less than half of current natural gas production for our own use.
Read the rest of the article by clicking here. 

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