Natural Gas ‘Fracking’ Has Flipped US Energy Map, Study Says
By Mark Clayton
Natural gas pipelines that for a half century sent natural gas flowing northward from energy-rich Gulf Coast states to heat and power the megacities of the chilly Northeast are seeing a role reversal. Northeast shale-gas discoveries are now being pumped in the opposite direction to meet rising industrial demand in the Southeast.
That switch in the status quo presents enormous infrastructure challenges while also promising big economic gains. Existing natural gas pipelines configured to send natural gas northward for winter heating and electricity generation will have to be reconfigured to send new gas supplies in the opposite direction, according to a new national study of gas demand.
As a result, at least 40 Northeast gas pipeline expansions are planned, with 20 geared toward sending gas to the Southeast, according to the new report by Bentek Energy, a subsidiary of Platts, a global energy information provider.
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