natural gas

Oil's Critical Role in Electricity Markets During Cold Winters

Winter Storm Jonas brings 20 inches of snow

I know that declining oil prices are in the news. However, the one bright spot is oil's role in electricity markets, especially during winter. Here’s a short summary of work that Devin Hartman [now the Electricity Policy Manager at the R Street Institute] and I did previously when we were trying to determine dual-fuel oil fired power generation’s role in ensuring the electric reliability in organized electricity markets.  [node:read-more:link]

Why I'm Bullish on Natural Gas

Most politicians, energy experts and consumers cite the abundant supply and low price of natural gas realized by the U.S. Shale Gas Revolution as reason to celebrate. However, natural gas producers, investors, and speculators who have bet on higher prices still continue to “sing the blues.” Despite recent NYMEX natural gas futures prices hovering around $2.05/MMBtu and lower physical natural gas prices, I am very bullish on natural gas for a variety of reasons. In fact, I believe that three times the current price is a bargain for the benefits that the fuel provides. 

Recent events in the Chinese stock market and the steep decline in crude oil prices are wreaking havoc on global economies and reducing revenues to OPEC producing countries, respectively.  However, when things are not going well economically, it forces national and local governments to rethink their energy policies and the fuels they rely on to heat and cool homes and businesses, produce electricity, and transport people and goods. It is indeed a time when fuels traditionally used in a country are vulnerable to new thinking that puts a premium on human health and environmental issues.

Fortunately, abundant and inexpensive U.S. shale gas and LNG Exports from the U.S. to Europe, Asia and South America will provide more economic options to national and local governments that want to begin attacking chronic air pollution problems in their large urban centers. As natural gas takes center stage as a solution to chronic air pollution, demand for the fuel will increase and so will prices. Let me explain. [node:read-more:link]


Natural Gas Pipelines face modernization- Are Oil Pipelines Next?

Federal regulators at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commisson issued proposed regulations that would help to modernize the interstate natural gas pipelines in the U.S. Rumor has it that the Department of Energy pressured FERC to do so in an effort to reduce natural gas (methane) leaks from aging pipelines. Methane is a green house gas that makes significant contributions to global warming. [node:read-more:link]


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