Sunday, February 1, 2009

Natural Gas Glut

From Houston Chronicle: Jan 31, 2009

"As many as seven massive natural gas export terminals are expected to start up overseas this year, expanding worldwide capacity by 20 percent and flooding markets with new supplies of the key power plant and heating fuel. Dozens of new tankers capable of carrying natural gas in a liquefied form are slated to hit the seas.

Just as these new supplies come on line, worldwide demand is expected to drop as the global recession deepens.

Operators of these new facilities are unlikely to cut back production, however, so shipments of liquefied natural gas will most likely head to the deepest markets with the greatest amount of natural gas storage capacity — the United States."

Closing price of natural gas was $4.42 on Friday Jan 30.

As I have predicted for many months now, the world is awash in natural gas. It is one of the cheapest and most reliable forms of generating power. Combined Cycle Cogeneration is tough to beat in price, toxicity, load-following, short time to bring a plant on-line, reliability, and, for those who deem such things important, CO2 emissions.

Link is here.

UPDATE 1, July 24, 2009: Much more natural gas has been found with the Horn River Basin shale gas field in Canada announced by ExxonMobil in early July, plus the various shale gas formations in the Lower 48 of the U.S. LNG shipments are arriving in Europe and the US, plus new natural gas liquefaction projects are planned for Australia. Price of natural gas is still around $4, and some days is under $4 per million Btu. The Wall Street Journal features natural gas articles, and agrees (states in the article) that the world is awash with natural gas. Finally, the U.S. government may begin steps to make CNG and LNG vehicles more attractive, as T. Boone Pickens successfully lobbied to have more government assistance toward increasing CNG and LNG as an alternative fuel for vehicles.

Roger E. Sowell, Esq.

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