TIPRO uses convention to push increased US gas use

The Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association used its annual convention in Houston to a call for increased use by the US of natural gas produced in the US.

Bob Tippee
OGJ Editor

HOUSTON, Feb. 25 -- The Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association used its annual convention in Houston to a call for increased use by the US of natural gas produced in the US.

Keynote speaker G. Steven Farris, chairman and chief executive officer of Apache Corp., and former independent producer T. Boone Pickens both urged expansion of the fleet of vehicles fueled by gas.

Because of growing supplies of gas from shales, combined with environmental and security advantages, Farris said, “We are heading toward natural gas.”

Rapidly spreading shale development gives the US at least a 100-year supply and maybe twice that, Farris said, adding “It has taken the exploratory side out of the business.”

He said, “Conversion of 25% of the US vehicle fleet to gas would lower oil imports by 5 million b/d.”

And increased gas use would help the US reduce emissions of greenhouse gases as a remedy for climate change.

“At some point we’re going to get legislation,” Farris said. “If we are serious about carbon dioxide then we will be serious about natural gas.”

Attention due
Pickens said the plan to increase gas consumption that he has promoted in Congress will receive attention when Washington, DC, moves away from health care.

“I’ve nailed myself to a date,” he said. “Memorial Day.”

Pickens has spearheaded efforts to create tax incentives for gas-fueled vehicles. Bills containing such incentives have been introduced in the House and Senate (OGJ, July 20, 2009, p. 33).

“I don’t want any subsidies for natural gas,” Pickens said. “All I want is encouragement to get our heavy-duty vehicles over to natural gas.”

Asked about incentives for construction of gas-fueling equipment, he said, “Let private industry provide the infrastructure.”

Pickens focuses his arguments on cutting imports of oil from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, saying, “We’re dependent on oil from countries that hate us.”

He targets heavy-duty vehicles because gas is the only practicable substitute for the diesel they now burn. If the 8 million trucks now on US roads burned gas instead of diesel, Pickens said, the country would import 2.5 million b/d less oil—half what it now imports from OPEC members.

Also at the convention, Regina Hopper, president and chief executive officer of America’s Natural Gas Alliance, offered TIPRO members political advice for promoting natural gas.

“We need to communicate very effectively that this clean American product is available right now,” she said.

Contact Bob Tippee at bobt@ogjonline.com.

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