Year-to-date consumption of natural gas in 2010 compared to 2009 indicates growth of about 3.7 percent on an average daily basis, according to Bentek Energy. While industrial demand is up about 1.8 percent, power generation (+4.6 percent) and residential/commercial (+3.9 percent) lead the consumption growth and are, of course, tied to temperature sensitive loads during the colder than normal months of January and February.
At the same time, domestic production strength has asserted itself, also. For the longer term, some believe more natural gas will be consumed during the coming decades regardless of whether climate legislation is enacted or not.
One of those persons is FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller who, when speaking before congress on March 23, noted his expectation that more electricity will be generated using gas and that pipeline infrastructure and storage assets will continue to be constructed. FERC Commissioner Spitzer said (at the same hearing) that pipeline assets may require an investment of $108-163 billion between 2010 and 2030 (28,900-61,900 miles of pipe) in the United States and Canada and that adding 371 to 598 Bcf of underground storage capacity at a cost of $2-5 billion may be necessary, too.
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