Monday, March 16, 2009

To Market, to Market, to Sell LNG...

Now that the price of natural gas has fallen below profitable levels for drilling deep wells into shale beds, industry is telling us that "the US economy and security may depend on bringing these clean burning gas discoveries in the Barnett Shale, Haynesville Shale, Marcellus Shale, and Fayetteville Shale to market profitably. With price a function of supply and demand, we are seeing a greater supply than demand." They are saying, "That has to change."
Their solution?
The tail that wags the dog of capitalism... marketing!
How's this for logic? "Local producers face increasing competition from LNG imports and alternative fuels. ... The clean burning natural gas* industry, as a whole, needs to actively support competitive incentives that build profitable local markets. ...natural gas use has declined in the face of aggressive marketing and infrastructure investment over the last 50 years by electric utilities at the consumer level. Gas stoves, ovens, refrigerators and water heaters have been replaced in favor of electric alternatives."
Yes, it's a sorry story when LNG imports are more competitively priced than homegrown but, given the finite supply of natural gas in any case, with less than 20 years availability projected, marketing strategies that compete with alternative fuels seem more self serving than driven by real concerns for national energy independence. For a taste of fine hype, CLICK HERE.
*and don't forget all the pollution generated in extracting that clean burning gas... from the hundreds and hundreds of diesel rigs driving to and from well sites to the generators belching smoke into the air during drilling, to the water made toxic and radioactive... in the end, there's ultimately very litte "clean" about natural gas derived from shale.

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