Energy & Infrastructure

Natural gas is the fuel of choice

Staff Reports

Covering the annual energy conference CERTAWeek last week, Houston Chronicle business columnist Chris Tomlinson writes about the rising popularity of natural gas in his March 9 column, “Coal is out and oil is fading, making natural gas the fossil fuel of choice.”

Tomlinson writes:

“Coal is too dirty. Oil is too messy. And renewables are too intermittent. But natural gas is just right.

Energy companies of every stripe have fallen in love with the stepchild of fossil fuels. No longer considered an annoying byproduct of oil drilling, natural gas’ multiple applications and relative cleanliness guarantee it a place in the future energy mix.”

Summing up the benefits of gas, Tomlinson writes that natural gas is abundant, transportable and easily stored near where demand is high. Gas also produces up to 60 percent less in carbon emissions than coal. It can be used to produce heat, combusted in turbines to generate electricity or injected into engines to propel vehicles. Constituents of natural gas are also used to make plastics and other petrochemicals, itself a growth industry.

Another reason to love natural gas is how it compliments renewables.

Tomlinson continues:

“Renewables are growing faster than any energy source in history, and it’s growing five times faster than natural gas,” said Bob Dudley, CEO of BP. “That makes it an especially exciting investment opportunity, especially where you can partner it with natural gas to address intermittency issues.”

Today, the United States is awash with cheap natural gas due to increased drilling for oil. The U.S. has begun exporting LNG, sending prices lower…All of these steps will not only help the environment, but also maximize return to shareholders while delivering affordable energy. Coal and oil may fade in importance, but natural gas is here to stay.”

The the full article here.