The US is enjoying a gas boom of epic proportions, due to new recovery techniques known as “fracking”. Where is the excess gas going to go? One answer is to export it to energy poor countries through the Panama Canal. Texas and Louisiana are the main US locations where gas pipelines terminate. These are ideal locations for ships to load up and head for Far East destinations. Japan is a major importer of LNG (liquefied natural gas). The expansion of the Panama Canal allows large LNG tankers to move by sea economically to their customers. This article in Maritime Executive tells some of the story.
Hi Bruce – Is the most common means for moving the gas from the well to the port of export by truck, train, or pipepline? Our company is in Ohio and is seeing fracking first hand. Just curious as to how this stuff is being moved.
Hi, Nat! Gas is usually collected by pipeline from the wells, and it is brought to a compressing station. It can go by pipeline from there, or sometimes by rail in compressed gas railcars. Trucks are usually not big enough for LNG unless it is coming from a very remote place– you have to compress it to make transportation by truck viable.
There are pipelines from the Midwest to New Orleans, Houston, and other southern ports.
I know there is considerable action in the pipeline operator business trying to build collection and transport infrastructure where fracking is starting to be done. These companies try to guess where the production will be and start developing. Pipeline development has a lot of hurdles, environmental and business, securing right of way and construction etc.