Natural gas consumption in the United States could rise by 19 to 31 percent over the next five years due to a wave of industrial projects slated for construction.
A new study from the University of Texas’ Center for Energy Economics found 144 natural gas-intensive industrial projects on the drawing board that could be built by the end of the decade. They include processing facilities for the production of ethylene, methanol, ammonia, urea, nitrogen fertilizer, and gas-to-liquids, among others.
Taken together, the projects could total $121 billion in investment and add 26 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas demand. The Texas projections are significantly higher than what the U.S. Energy Information Administration has predicted.
The sudden surge of major projects being drawn up in corporate board rooms is a direct result of the shale gas revolution, which brought enormous volumes of natural gas online and caused prices to crater. Flush with cheap gas, major plastics and fertilizer companies are rushing to build new facilities that use natural gas as a feedstock for their products