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NWGA Releases Natural Gas Facts Booklet

Natural Gas Facts

This booklet provides an overview of natural gas and the myriad of benefits that this domestic, clean, safe, low-cost and reliable energy source offers the Pacific Northwest consumers. 3.2 million regional natural gas users are enjoying its economic and environmental advantages, but expanding the use and applications of natural gas will help provide an economically feasible, cleaner environment for future generations.

To download and read more, click here.

Natural Gas is Critical in the Energy Future

Jim Piro, President and CEO of Portland General Electric (PGE) was recently interviewed by the Portland Business Journal about the significant transition underway in the energy landscape. The key takeaway is that PGE is carefully and deliberately moving through it. Mr. Piro wants PGE to learn from others, not pioneer new, unproven resources and regulatory regimes. Mr. Piro also reaffirmed the critical role that natural gas must play in PGE’s generation portfolio to ensure that customers always have electricity when they need it:

 “[I]f the wind doesn’t blow for a day or so batteries can’t help you through that. Gas is needed to bridge that difference… If the lights don’t go on, customers aren’t going to worry about whether the gas is in the ground or not in the ground; they’re going to wonder why [PGE] didn’t meet their needs.”

 Not everyone is happy with PGE’s approach as indicated in a guest editorial by the Sierra Club and other Oregon environmental organizations recently published in the Oregonian. Unfortunately, the authors of the opinion piece use inflammatory language and outdated information to support their case. Their claim about “notoriously volatile” natural gas prices caught our eye and we’d like to set the record straight.

According to the to U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA) natural gas prices were relatively stable from 1981 to 2000, averaging $3.95/Dekatherm (Dth) when adjusted for inflation ($2015). Gas prices during the first decade of the 21st century were indeed volatile as North America struggled to produce enough natural gas to meet growing demand. From 2001 to 2010 natural gas averaged $6.61/Dth and experienced significant volatility associated with cold and hot weather, and hurricanes that disrupted conventional supply resources.onemoretime

 All that changed with the advent of shale gas which began to come online in 2007 and reached game-changing status around 2010. The average price of natural gas from 2011 to 2015 was $3.57/Dth. In 2015, natural gas averaged $2.62/Dth. The future looks equally stable. EIA projects that natural gas prices will rise to $5/Dth ($2015) and remain there as production technologies become more efficient, quicker to come on line and better for the environment. This is a dramatic change from its 2008 price forecast.

Natural gas is an abundant, cleaner, affordable energy resource. As Mr. Piro notes, it is a vital part of enabling more renewable resources in our region and elsewhere. Without natural gas, our power supply will become less reliable and more expensive. Those are the facts.

Natural Gas Supplies in the Pacific Northwest

Pacific Northwest natural gas customers benefit from their proximity to the prolific Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) and U.S. Rocky Mountain (Rockies) natural gas-producing regions.

June 7 -8, 2017: 14th Annual Energy Conference

  • Annual Energy Conference
    June 7, 2017 - June 8, 2017
    11:00 am - 4:30 pm

Benefits of Direct Use of Natural Gas

For many years, energy agencies have alerted Americans to the importance of energy efficiency. A variety of tags and certifications, backed by financial incentives, encourage us to understand our equipment buying options. We know that it makes sense to spend a little more on a product so that we can save money and energy throughout its useful life.

These efforts continue to reduce per capita energy use for both natural gas and electric customers. And the more energy we save, the lower our impact on the environment.

Northwest Gas Association’s 2014 Natural Gas Outlook Highlights Potential for Increased Regional Demand

PORTLAND, OR – This week the Northwest Gas Association (NWGA) released the 2014 edition of the annual Natural Gas Outlook Study, a regional look at natural gas supply, demand and infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest.

Released annually, the Gas Outlook provides a detailed ten-year overview of expected natural gas demand, supply availability, infrastructure development and prices in the Northwest. The Outlook offers unique insight, representing a consensus view of the regional natural gas market developed by industry participants directly serving Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia.

“The Natural Gas Outlook serves as an important point of reference for energy stakeholders in the Pacific Northwest,” said Ed Brewer, NWGA Board President and Vice President and General Manager of Williams Northwest Pipeline. “These stakeholders are navigating decisions concerning abundant North American natural gas supply options, existing and potential new markets and the infrastructure needed to bring the supply and demand together,” he added.

The 2014 release continues the trend of regional growth in natural gas demand, projecting an annual growth rate of 1.5%, up from 1.2% last year. Two scenarios, discussing the potential for accelerated growth in the power generation and industrial sectors, are new in this year’s report. Looming coal plant retirements and manufacturers seeking access to affordable North American gas supply led to these additions as a means of analyzing potential large changes in demand that do not show up in the regular Outlook data set.

“The 2014 Outlook demonstrates that our region remains in a period of steady growth in demand for natural gas,” said Dan Kirschner, NWGA Executive Director. “However, a number of indicators point toward the potential for significant expansion in the coming years, particularly for industrial uses, as a fuel for generating electricity and for export. Historically, our study hasn’t addressed prospective market developments until they’re reflected in the resource plans of regional utilities. However, the potential for increased natural gas loads due to the need to replace existing coal-fired generation and new opportunities in the industrial sector led to the inclusion of these developments as alternative scenarios in our analysis.”

The 2014 Outlook continues to indicate a potential need for new or expanded natural gas delivery infrastructure by the end of the decade. While the current delivery system operates efficiently and reliably, the study notes: “Industrial and generation demand above the expected case will amplify and accelerate the need for incremental capacity.”

The full 2014 Natural Gas Outlook Study is available to view or download at:

https://www.nwga.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/2014OutlookWeb.pdf

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ABOUT THE NORTHWEST GAS ASSOCIATION: The NWGA works to foster understanding among opinion leaders and informed decision- making by governing officials on issues related to natural gas in the Pacific Northwest. Its members include six natural gas utilities serving communities throughout Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, and three transmission pipelines that transport natural gas from supply basins into and through the region.

“What’s Up With Gas?” NWGA in the News

Last week NWGA Executive Director, Dan Kirschner, was the keynote speaker for a series of three community talks hosted by NWGA member, Intermountain Gas. Dan gave attendees some insight into the changing nature of the gas industry, the scale of the shale gas revolution and an overview of emerging markets such as natural gas for transportation.

If you like what you see let us know, Dan rarely turns down a speaking opportunity, he’s also available for children’s birthday parties (if your kids enjoy natural gas facts).

Here’s coverage of Dan’s presentation from Twin Falls, Idaho station, KMVT:

 

2012 Gas Outlook

Released annually, the Gas Outlook is a detailed ten-year look at expected natural gas demand, supply availability and prices in the Northwest. The Outlook offers unique insight, representing a consensus view of the regional natural gas market developed by industry participants directly serving Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia.

“We have seen unprecedented change in the natural gas industry over the past few years,
” said Frank Morehouse, NWGA Board President. “The Gas Outlook helps industry observers gain insight on what those changes mean for our region,” he added.

Breakthroughs in drilling technology have unlocked vast reserves of shale gas, replacing past concerns over declining production with plentiful supply. Regional demand for natural gas is expected to grow annually by an average of 0.9 percent per year, leading to a cumulative growth of 8.1 percent by 2021. The role of natural gas as a fuel to generate electricity is a key question discussed in the 2012 Gas Outlook.

Read Entire 2012 Gas Outlook Here

 

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