The natural gas revolution is marching on. Beside overtaking coal as the leading fuel to create electricity, it is also the key raw material needed for American industry, whose appetite for natural gas and unconventional shale gas is expected to surpass the demands of the utility sector.
It’s a powerful economic story — but one that juxtaposes the goals of natural gas producers with those of manufacturing and utility interests. The United States, which has been the globe’s leading producer of natural gas and shale gas since 2009, is now also a net exporter of it — largely because of the doubling of pipeline capacity to Mexico and reduced imports from Canada.
Demand, no doubt, is on the rise: utilities are shifting from coal to natural gas and manufacturers are expanding their domestic operations. Meanwhile, European and Chinese manufacturers are seeking cheaper supplies, all of which is creating price pressures. Just how will that affect the industrial and power sectors here at home?
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