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The Future of Natural Gas in America

Posted by Edward Dill on Aug 17, 2017 9:31:00 AM

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According to almost any energy scientist, natural gas is the “future of energy” in the U.S.A. Natural gas recently overtook coal as America’s number one source of electricity; market share is already shifting dramatically in nearly every city, state, and region in the country.

Aptus maintains and installs natural gas pipelines attached to bridges across the United States. Over the last two decades, we’ve noticed a substantial uptick in the number and volume of natural gas lines we’ve been asked to install. Additionally, we’re seeing natural gas companies investing in infrastructure that’s capable of being scaled.

Sustainable Innovation in Natural Gas
The environmental benefits of natural gas relative to fossil fuels have been well enumerated. Natural gas emits less than half as much carbon dioxide as coal when burned; it’s also less expensive. Not only is the production of natural gas itself more sustainable than coal mining or drilling for oil, natural gas has many uses that drive second-tier sustainability. Nat gas can be used to make fertilizer for ethanol, to more cleanly produce hydrogen, and as a raw material for consumer goods. The demand for natural gas has never been higher – natural gas now constitutes 33% of the U.S. energy supply and the country is close to exporting as much natural gas as we import, too.

The Drive for More Natural Gas
American emission standards are a large factor in the drive for more sustainable energy. To meet rising regulatory requirements regarding emissions, much of the public utility industry has been investing in infrastructure dedicated to the production and transport of natural gas. The industry is expected to expand over 8% between now and 2020 alone.

In the face of globalization, America is on a path towards energy independence. Now second only to Saudi Arabia in energy production, the U.S. is tapping into an abundance of natural gas reserves with increasing precision. The additional output isn’t just making natural gas more plentiful, it’s lowering cost, making it more suitable for use in manufacturing, automotive, and construction, as well as in a consumer-facing capacity.

Changes in Natural Gas Technology
One of the driving forces behind the surge in natural gas production in America has been research and development. A spate of new technologies has emerged that make natural gas production a more benign, more exact science. These same technologies – sensors, gauges, and pumps – are making the transportation of natural gas resources through pipelines a safer process.

As an export, American natural gas is in high demand. Currently transported as gas vapor via pipelines, exported natural gas must be liquified before transporting. It’s a process that will require updating much of today’s current natural gas infrastructure. In 2016, the United States exported nearly twice as many million cubic feet of natural gas as it did in just 2011.

 

Aptus works hand-in-hand with natural gas providers, exporters, and regulators to ensure its transference through bridge-attached pipeline systems is both efficient and safe. We’re regularly asked to inspect, repair, and improve some of the largest gas pipeline projects in the country.

Want to find out more? Talk to our team today.

Topics: Natural Gas