The lack of pipelines is not allowing the United States to maintain the pace of growth. In Appalachia, production growth dropped from 36% a year to 4%. In Permian Shael, Texas, the reduction was from 17% to 8%.
The world’s largest producer – and second-largest exporter (behind Russia) – of natural gas, the United States, is slowing growth in production of the raw material. Despite the increase in demand as countries try to free themselves from Russian dependence, outdated infrastructure is not allowing Washington to keep pace.
The ETQ Corporation – an American energy company that manages gas exploration in the country – indicates that, in Appalachia, the country’s largest production center, responsible for 37% of the gas in the US in 2021, the average growth was 36% between 2010 and 2019. This figure dropped to 4% in 2020 and 2021. In Permian Shael, Texas – the second-largest producer, with a share of 19%, – growth slowed to an average of 17% per year, between 2012 and 2020, to 8% in 2021.
When presenting the results, ETQ stated that it does not expect to return to the previous pace until more gas pipelines are built. Bank of America analysts, quoted by Reuters, indicate that Appalachia “is approaching its capacity limit”, estimating there is “little or no scope for production growth”. Already in Permian, analysts indicate that only the construction of new infrastructure can prevent a significant slowdown in the next year.
One of the factors that could change the current scenario of production in the United States is the resumption of the Mountain Valley project, in Virginia, stopped by legal issues, and with an estimated investment of 6.2 billion dollars. “This could be the last major natural gas project to operate east of the Mississippi River for some time,” believe analysts at ClearView Energy Partners, who are betting on the Mountain Valley start-up in mid-2023.
Still, despite the structural difficulties, the invasion of Ukraine sent US gas prices soaring by around 50%, hitting 14-year highs and pushing the estimated average annual value for 2022 to US$4.24 per mmBtu, the highest in eight years.
Source: With Agencies