Natural Gas Industry ‘Dip’ Seen As Temporary

From Potter County Today

jimladleePotter County is experiencing a “temporary dip” in shale gas drilling, as are many other counties, but the long-range forecast calls for the industry to remain a major force for decades to come. That was the theme of a comprehensive assessment delivered by Jim Ladlee at Tuesday’s meeting of the county’s Natural Gas Task Force. He addressed a wide variety of topics, while observing that a full analysis of any one of them could consume multiple hours.

“History has taught us over and over again that it would be foolish to make any firm predictions about what energy companies are going to do,” Ladlee said. “There are far too many factors at play to do that and conditions are always changing.” He added that, with the presence of quality shale gas confirmed in Potter County and the inevitability of gas consumption increasing in future years, companies will be active here.

Market forces (i.e., gas prices that have gone from $8.00 per MCF to about $2.50), a temporary oversupply of gas and the absence of pipeline distribution capacity have slowed drilling and production in Potter County. However, many industries are evolving to increase the consumption and distribution of gas — retrofitting coal-fired electricity generators to be fueled by gas, boosting gas exportation and building motor vehicles to be powered by natural gas, rather than gasoline.

Ladlee is director of initiatives at the Marcellus Shale Education and Training Center, executive director for Penn State Extension in Clinton County, and has recently joined the staff of Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research.

Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.

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