However, the debate really surrounds keeping all of that gas to ourselves. There’s no doubt about it: There are a lot of projects in the pipeline to sop up more of our natural gas. However, according to Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE:EPD), which is a midstream transporter of natural gas and oil, there is a substantial amount of gas “on the shelf.” This is gas that could quickly become available once demand picks up enough to raise prices to the point where it’s economical to extract. It believes that there’s about 25 billion cubic feet per day, or Bcfe/d, of gas production that could be added if the price rose above $5 per MMBtu. It sees that price being the turning point where supply and demand would stay in balance.
In the company’s view, over the next five to seven years we have the potential for 11 billion cubic feet equivalent to 20 Bcfe per day of additional natural gas demand. Included in that number is 4 Bcfe/d to 6 Bcfe/d of demand from natural gas exports, which, in its view, is probably the top end of what would be economical for natural gas export projects. That’s not a very large number given our vast supply, especially in light of the gas that could easily be brought online at around $5. The bottom line, according to export advocates, is that we have more than enough gas to to use it here at home, while becoming a dominant force in the LNG export market as well.
Still, the debate over natural gas exports is far from over, and the numbers will be debated for a long time. Having President Obama mention becoming a net exporter of natural gas is an interesting twist in a saga that’s likely to continue to have many twists and turns. In the meantime, though, score one for Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), one of the few companies that actually wins either way.
The article President Obama Sides With ExxonMobil originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Matt DiLallo.
Fool contributor Matt DiLallo and The Motley Fool recommend Enterprise Products Partners.
Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.