Economist sees natural gas shortage : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

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Economist sees natural-gas shortage

By JOAN McKINNEY Advocate Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- The gasoline price crisis may soon be followed by a natural gas supply crisis that few are anticipating, a Pulitzer Prize-winning economist warned on Thursday.

The economist, Daniel Yergin, is chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates and author of "The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power."

Speaking to a breakfast meeting of oil and gas industry officials and oil-state members of Congress, Yergin's main mission was release of a Cambridge study concluding, in effect, that a combination of private market and government regulatory forces, not industry greed, have caused the recent increases in U.S. gasoline prices and also the regional disparities in gasoline pricing.

However, Yergin concluded his lengthy analysis of the gasoline market by saying tight natural gas supplies probably will fuel the next energy crisis.

The electric utility industry is on course to build huge amounts of new plant capacity dependent on natural gas, and, at Cambridge, "We don't see the inventory" to meet the utilities' needs, the economist said.

That tight supply was reflected in trading Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. July natural gas rose 17.3 cents to $4.551 per 1,000 cubic feet -- closing in on the all-time high of $4.60 set in December 1996.

The latest industry data confirmed that natural gas supplies are extremely tight, prompting panic buying amid the specter of possible shortages, analysts said.

Yergin said Cambridge analysts can't identify existing natural gas supplies or the new production commitments that would be sufficient to operate the new electricity plants, he said.

"Ninety-five percent (of planned electric utility expansion) is based on natural gas. That's the bet we're making in this country without realizing it," Yergin said. "We're making a very big bet on natural gas  without making the commitment that's required."

"The assumption is there's lots of natural gas. The reality is there's a tight natural gas inventory, tighter than oil."

"We're going to need new frontier developments," but large areas of the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Rockies and Canada have been placed off limits to natural gas exploration, Yergin said.

He contended that natural gas is essential for "the new economy." The country must have the new gas-fired power plants to operate computers and other high-tech equipment that run on electricity, Yergin said.

-- Cave Man (, June 23, 2000


Article omits Yergin's first Hit on the Book Parade, "Energy Futures". In the book he predicted much of what is posted above and made him a "name". It lead to "The Prize".

Why the ommission?

The first book was written and published at the top of the market in the last set of Oil "shortages" CIRCA:........1980.

Even "The Prize" ends with a foul taste...a long page after page "Greenie" RANT. Like the "Club of Rome", "Energy Futures" forgot about the ability of business and R&D to come up with alternate energy and mandate cutbacks of overheated or over chilled private homes and public buildings.

This is not to say that he was the only one to blame. CONGRESS as usual lead the pack of STUPIDS by removing most if not all of the "Energy Tax Credits" and the funding for the development of alternate sources and utilization of COAL GASIFICATION or Natural Gas.

If nothing else, this time around on Gasoline should see the introduction and adaption of more NG powered or even dual powered NG/Electric autos.

-- cpr (, June 23, 2000.

Here's a good anaysis of the natural gas shortage e?topicID=947.topic

-- Cave Man (, June 23, 2000.

Charlie, some of what you say is absolutely correct -- letting the energy tax credit lapse was nearly a criminal act. Coal gasification has its uses, but it's extremely water-wasting/polluting, one of the problems encountered with gasification projects in western Canada, as I understand it. Lots of coal, not enough water. Natural gas supplies are facing their own problems, what with something over 5,000 megawatts of new NG-powered generating plants scheduled to come on line in the next few years. It'll be a race between opening new fields in far northern Canada and rising demand.

BTW, the past tense of the verb "to lead" is spelled led, not lead (that's the heavy metal, y'know). Oh, neat test on your other thread. Yes, I found all six. :-)>

Regards - Cash

-- Cash (, June 23, 2000.

If nothing else, this time around on Gasoline should see the introduction and adaption of more NG powered or even dual powered NG/Electric autos.

"This time around on gasoline"? What's this about gasoline? I have it on the best authority (CPR) that PRICES WILL CRASH SOON!!!

By the way, my Oct. 90 call option on unleaded gasoline hit a new high today, at 509 points. I wonder why we haven't heard much about the OIL PRICE CRASH! recently from CPR?

-- Sergeant Friday (just.the@facts.maam), June 23, 2000.

America will suck until the pipe is dry. New things will come along, they will be better; but we are probably in for a bumpy ride.

You may now return to your cheeseburgers and automobiles, hang on to your drinks. :)

-- Will (, June 25, 2000.

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