Why Natural Gas?
Natural gas is a critical source of energy because it is a cleaner, extremely abundant, fuel source. America’s abundant supply translates to a significantly reduced dependency on foreign oil and OPEC.
- Natural gas supplies more than “one-half of the energy consumed by residential and commercial customers, and about 41 percent of the energy used by U.S. Industry.”
Benefits of Natural Gas
Natural Gas Improves the Economy
Greater natural gas production, transportation, and consumption will help to lead the country’s economic recovery because it will help to keep manufacturing domestic which, in turn, will create more jobs, reduce fuel costs which and then reduce cost of goods.
Growth in availability of natural gas means we can again manufacture fertilizer, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals in the U.S., creating more jobs and exporting more goods.
Manufacturers who rely heavily on energy can now keep their facilities and jobs in the U.S., thanks to more affordable and stable gas prices. This helps to resolve the demand destruction issue we discussed in the Recent History section (on page 4), where facilities were either failing or relocating due to lack of availability of affordable fuel sources.
Natural Gas Consumption is Better for the Environment
According to The U.S. Energy Information Administration, natural gas burns 50 percent cleaner than coal and about 30 percent cleaner than oil. It’s lower carbon content and fewer impurities means it produces less sulfur dioxide, a primary contributor to acid rain. It is already used widely for personal and industrial consumption.
As the world refines and improves the technology for wind and solar energy, many organizations such as Greenpeace and experts such as T. Boone Pickens see natural gas as an ideal transition fuel. There is enough supply now to displace coal plants and meet aggressive energy goals set in international energy agreements.
Natural Gas Creates Jobs
The natural gas industry supports nearly three million jobs and adds about $385 billion to the national economy. In Texas and Pennsylvania, for example, more than 200,000 jobs were created in the last year as a result of the Natural Gas Revolution. For Texas, that translated to approximately $13.7 billion in additional economic output in 2008, alone. In Pennsylvania, 62 jobs are created for each well, equalling about $5.46 million in new output.
Jobs associated with this industry pay higher than average salaries. They also contribute to state and local tax revenues. North Dakota now has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, attributed almost exclusively to oil and gas development.
Natural Gas Changes The Way We Use Energy
Natural gas can reduce our dependency on foreign oil sources and reduce imports. T. Boone Pickens, a big supporter of natural gas, cites it’s big benefits not as an energy fuel, but as a transportation fuel.
The Pickens Plan calls to shift America’s eight million heavy duty trucks from imported diesel, which is $1 per gallon more expensive, to domestic natural gas. Approximately 15 percent of the oil America consumes is used by 18-wheelers transporting goods throughout the U.S. A shift in fuel would reduce reliance on Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) by 70 percent, thereby removing support of unstable countries whose decisions and policies do not align with that of the U.S.
This shift has begun to happen and will have positive effects on the entire commerce network as shipping costs to retailers will drop and that reduction in price will be passed on to consumers.
As well, major utilities are switching to power generated by natural gas rather than coal.
Overall, a boom in the energy sector, coupled with a slow recovery in domestic manufacturing, could raise gross domestic product by two to just more than three percent by 2020, according to a recent analysis by Citigroup.
To learn more about the benefits and the future of Natural Gas, please download our white paper, The Natural Gas Revolution.
Watch our Video!
In the summer of 2011, Snelson mobilized to Pinedale, Wyoming. The job? 15 miles of 30″ pipeline between the Paradise and Falcon compressor stations.
The project faced many challenges over the 3.5 month duration. 85 percent of the project was on Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, which brought additional compliance requirements to meet the Federal standards. Wildlife restrictions required resequencing some work and implementing new methods. The weather also was a challenge, varying between the low nineties to below zero, bringing thunder, rain, hail and snow to the worksite.
Against the backdrop of Wyoming’s Wind River Range, Snelson achieved project completion ahead of schedule. The entire undertaking came to a smooth conclusion: fifteen miles of 30″ pipeline completed, four bores that totaled over 900 lineal feet, and two horizontal directional drills that stretched nearly 3/4 of a mile.
The men and women on the team were “True Champions of Safety” putting in over 125,000 worker hours with zero lost time injuries and zero recordable injuries. In the end, BLM not only reported the project had no major environmental incursions, but commented that it was “the best job they’d seen come through Pinedale”.
Watch the video to see some incredible images from this successful project.
Working on flat, level ground is great, but it’s not always an option. Here one of the Snelson teams is getting ready to place the pipe in the trench going up a hill. In this case it was welded up and placed in trench in one piece. If you look close you’ll even see how the pipe was bent to go over the crest of the hill.
Watch the footage, Snelson routinely produces quality work with seasoned professionals.
What does it take to put in a pipeline in challenging terrain? Large pipelines require big iron to get the job done.
Check out this video of a big Cat Dozer pulling a Trencher up a steep hillside! The seasoned professionals at Snelson do the job right, time after time.
The Natural Gas Revolution
Natural gas is a vital part of the energy mix we rely on in our day to day lives. For over 60 years, Snelson Companies has continued to be a leader in bringing these energy resources to businesses and homes around the country. From transmission pipeline construction, to gas distribution to the homeowner, Snelson Companies delivers safe, superior quality work, done right and on time.
America has a strategic advantage in the Natural Gas Revolution and stands to benefit from the forecasted increase in demand.
With increasing demand, policy and transportation infrastructure must adapt to keep pace and assure access to adequate supplies. The following link is a white paper that explores the Natural Gas Revolution, its benefits, and how the forecasted increase in demand affects the pipeline infrastructure.