Survey shows safety as top industry concern

Natural gas producers told pollsters in a survey earlier this year that safety was their top concern followed by environmental regulation and economic growth, said Black & Veatch’s 2013 Natural Gas Industry report covering North America.

Midstream representatives also listed safety as their top issue followed by economic growth second and environmental regulation third, the report showed. Safety issues cited by industry included integrity management programs, cyber security, and environmental issues.

Both upstream and midstream survey participants listed capital access and cost as their fourth concern followed by rate and regulatory issues.

Peter Abt, B&V managing director of oil and gas strategy practice, said the general consensus was that more pipeline capacity is needed.

“How this capacity is financed—and who pays for it—is the area of disconnect,” Abt said. “Without pipeline investment, the natural gas industry’s growth will slow, and consumers could see dramatic price swings.”

Survey participants said they believe gas prices will reach $4.50-5.99/MMbtu by 2020, noting that industry is reliant on economic growth.

During July and August, B&V gathered 336 responses from producers, pipelines, and utilities. More than 95% of the gas executives said they were optimistic or very optimistic regarding the outlook towards future industry growth.

Some 85% expect gas-generated electricity will drive demand growth. Other drivers of gas demand are expected to be LNG exports, transportation, petrochemicals, and manufacturing.

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