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More Shale Growth to Challenge Pipelines

INGAA says U.S., Canada firms need to invest US$30 billion annually


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The United States and Canada will require annual average midstream natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids midstream infrastructure investment of nearly US$30 billion per year, or US$641 billion (in 2012 dollars) from 2014 to 2035, a study finds.

ICF International prepared the report for the INGAA Foundation and America’s Natural Gas Alliance. It updates a 2011 gas infrastructure report and reflects changes in the natural gas, NGL and crude oil industry in recent years.

The paper said midstream natural gas investment must be US$14 billion per year, or US$313 billion total, to accommodate new gas supplies, particularly from the prolific shale plays, and growing demand for gas in power generation, industrial applications and exports. Midstream includes mainlines, laterals, processing, storage, compression and gathering lines.

Meanwhile, US$2.5 billion per year, or US$56 billion total, will be needed for natural gas liquids (NGL) infrastructure and US$12.4 billion per year, or US$271.8 billion total, will be needed for crude oil facilities.

INGAA Foundation President Don Santa said although previous reports only focused on natural gas, it has become necessary to view energy pipelines in holistic terms because of the linkage between natural gas, crude oil and NGLs. “Pipelines make the shale revolution possible -– whether it’s shale gas, tight oil or NGLs,” he said.

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