The U.S. is inching into the number one spot for oil and gas production worldwide and natural gas advocates want President Obama to highlight the trend during Tuesday’s State of the Union address. The abundance of natural gas is due to technological advances - which unlocked previously inaccessible reserves - and low natural gas prices have made the energy source very competitive.
Dan Whitten, with America’s Natural Gas Alliance, says even if prices for natural gas go up the resource will still be able to compete with Wyoming’s coal.
“The Energy Information Administration does something called the levelized cost of electricity. And it’s the cost of building a power plant in, say two years that will service for the next 20 years. And in all of those projection over the last 3 or 4 years natural gas has been substantially more affordable than any other energy source, and even with an uptick in price that would continue to be the case,” says Whitten.
Whitten says about 30 states are now producing natural gas, but Wyoming has been in the game longer than many of the newcomers.
“Wyoming is one of the states that has been producing natural gas for a long time,” he says. “It’s been a stable source of energy for our country, we see the prospects in Wyoming growing. It’s really a bedrock for American energy.”
In Wyoming, the pipeline infrastructure for natural gas is lagging in some areas where the primary play is for oil, but Whitten says he expects that infrastructure to improve. He also says production is expected to be able to support exports to foreign markets, something industry wants to explore.