The NWGA 2014 annual Gas Outlook provides a 10 year overview of expected natural gas demand, supply, infrastructure development and prices in the US Northwest. The outlook offers insight, representing a consensus view of the regional natural gas market developed by industry participants directly serving Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Colombia.
Ed Brewer, NWGA Board President and VP and General manager of Williams Northwest Pipeline said, ‘the Natural Gas Outlook serves as an important point of reference for energy stakeholders in the Pacific Northwest. 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.’
The outlook continues the trend of regional growth in natural gas demand, projecting an annual growth rate of 1.5% up from 1.2% in 2013. Two scenarios, discussing the potential for accelerated growth in the power generation and industrial sectors, are new to the 2014 report. Coal plant retirements and manufacturers seeking access to affordable North American gas supply led to these additions as a means of analysing potential large changes in demand that do not show up in the regular Outlook data set.
Dan Kirschner, NWGA Executive Director said, ‘the 2014 outlook demonstrates that our region remains in a period of steady growth in demand for natural gas. 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 for export. Historically, our study hasn’t addressed prospective market developments unit they’re reflected in the resource plans of regional utilities. However, the potential for increase 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 outlook continues to indicate a potential need for new or expanded natural gas delivery infrastructure by 2020. 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 report can be downloaded at http://www.nwga.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/2014OutlookWeb.pdf.
Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.
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