It’s so ironic. New England is only a stone’s throw from the burgeoning Marcellus natural gas production area, but pipeline constraints during high-demand periods in the wintertime leave power generators in the six-state region gasping for more gas. Now, with only minimal expansions to New England’s gas pipeline network on the horizon, the region is doubling down on a long-term plan to rely on a combination of gas liquefaction, LNG storage, LNG imports and gas-to-oil fuel switching at dual-fuel power plants to help keep the heat and lights on through those inevitable cold snaps. Today, we discuss recent developments on the gas-supply front in “Patriots Nation.”
It’s only natural that high-volume markets like Asia and Western Europe are the focus of most discussions about exporting US liquefied natural gas (LNG) and natural gas liquids (NGLs) like ethane and propane. But the Caribbean, a market much closer to home, is attracting more attention lately, as infrastructure is developed to share America’s hydrocarbon bounty with the outside world. For decades, the Caribbean has been heavily dependent on oil-fired power generation and, as a result, its electric rates are among the highest anywhere. Now, the region is looking at alternative fuels for power generation, including LNG, compressed natural gas (CNG) and believe it or not, ethane. Today we consider the potential for fuel switching in the Caribbean, and the challenges involved.