The Week in Gas: Week of August 27, 2012.

A few interesting items to cover this week, but first a big congratulations to two members of the NWGA Board of Directors, K. Frank Morehouse and Scott Madison, for accepting new roles with MDU Resources.

 “Coal Fired Power Loses to Natural Gas and Renewables in the West” (

This week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hosted a daylong summit in Portland for west coast energy stakeholders to discuss the growing use of natural gas for power generation. Articles like this demonstrate how far along the road we already are when it comes to gas becoming a primary generation fuel in the U.S.

Key Point: Natural-gas accounts for 22 percent of western generation. Still, in the last 15 years natural-gas generation has more than quadrupled to 79.8 million megawatt-hours in 2011, according to the WRA report.

“New Methane Hydrate Research: Investing in our Energy Future” (

We’ve highlighted methane hydrates in a blog post before, some consider them to be  a huge part of our energy future due to the amount of energy stored in as natural gas in ice under the ocean.  It will be interesting to see what studies like this one come up with.

Key Point: The Energy Department announced today an investment of nearly $5.6 million in 14 research projects designed to help us better understand the impacts of methane hydrates on our future energy supply. The projects will focus on field programs for deepwater hydrate characterization, the response of methane hydrate systems to changing climates, and advances in the understanding of gas-hydrate-bearing sediments.

Finally, here’s a great video giving an overview of an Avista natural gas generation plant, have a look before starting your holiday weekend:


“The Week in Gas” is posted each Friday, spotlighting some of the most interesting gas related stories we come across each week.


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