The abundance of shale gas and the resulting transportation needs have pushed investment in new gas transmission pipelines, and over half of the country’s newest lines are in the Northeast, where producers are looking to ship Marcellus shale gas to market, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported.
Of the roughly $2 billion spent on transmission pipelines nationally in 2012, over half can be attributed to Dominion Resources Inc., EQT Corp., and Spectra Energy Corp., the late-March report showed. These three midstream companies spent $1.1 billion on three transmission pipelines that run through Western Pennsylvania.
Oil and gas companies can now ship an additional 3.2 billion cubic feet per day through the region, but with more than 7 billion cubic feet of capacity expected to come online in the Northeast this year, the drive for infrastructure in and around the Marcellus shale is expected to continue for years to come.
A new study by The Potential Gas Committee (PGC), a research panel based at the Colorado School of Mines, ranks the Atlantic area as the country’s richest resource area thanks, in large part, to the Marcellus Shale.
“The largest volumetric and percentage gains were reported for Appalachian basin shales (primarily the Marcellus but including other Devonian shales and the Utica), which collectively rose by 335 Tcf (147%),” noted PGC.
The region’s accelerating prominence in the US energy space should continue to draw investment for years to come. According to the EIA, the industry can expect infrastructure investments to remain between $1 billion and $2 billion annually through 2015, and with that, a peak of roughly 400 miles of transmission pipeline.