Natural Gas Market Overview
Supply and Demand Issues
Natural gas prices have fluctuated sharply in recent years. Why? Broadly speaking,
volatility of natural gas prices has increased because of the interaction of a number
- Demand is closely tied to overall economy.
- Competing government policies that encourage use of natural gas but
discourage new supplies by limiting access and development of domestic
natural gas resources.
- The lack of infrastructure necessary to bring more natural gas to
- The declining productivity of older fields.
Sharp increases in natural gas prices can hurt consumers, and typically occur during the winter months. Customers have no
choice but to pay the bill because both households and businesses must be heated and cooled,
and for households there must be a source of heat for cooking. One way to stabilize natural gas costs long term is to increase supplies and improve infrastructure for delivery. Because demand over the next two decades is expected to
rise, increasing supply and minimizing fuel price volatility is essential to keep our economy growing.
Can supply be increased? The steady increase in the number of vehicles
on our roads and the number of miles driven push the trend of increasing
demand for oil imports. Highway transportation alone is responsible for
almost 3/4 of the nation’s oil demand. At the same time, global
oil reserves – often located in politically volatile countries, leave the
United States vulnerable to disruptions in oil supply. The steady increase
in vehicles also contributes to degrading air quality in many of our cities
and to increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Unlike oil, there is currently no quick way to increase imports of natural
gas from abroad when production does not meet demand. There are known
reserves throughout North America – both onshore and off the east,
west and Gulf coasts. Significant untapped sources are in the Mountain
West. Much of that gas is off limits because of concerns about the impact
on the land and the environment. In recent years, environmental concerns have emerged with hydraulic fracturing – a process known as "fracking", which involves pumping fluids into shale formations to release natural gas contained within the the rock.
Can FGI help the supply to be increased – without contributing to further environmental harm? YES!
FGI can help cost-effectively increase energy supplies of natural
gas while protecting land, water and the environment. Using our patented
technology, FGI can tap landfill gas methane and stranded natural gas
fields with high CO2 levels. Unlike production of other biofuels, FirmGreen's
process that utilizes landfill gas to produce CNG creates a uniquely sustainable
biofuel that does not compete with food resources. FirmGreen's technology
allows operators of waste facilities to transform their 'graveyard' facility
into a 'cradle' for environmentally responsible energy and fuels.
Why Use Natural Gas as a Fuel?
It's Clean: With the exception of hydrogen
itself, natural gas (NG) has the highest hydrogen content of any fuel.
NGVs produce approx. 93 - 95% less emissions than similar petroleum fueled
vehicles. (source: EIA)
It's Safe: Lighter-than-air compressed natural
gas is nontoxic and disperses quickly. It has a higher ignition temperature
than diesel fuel or gasoline, reducing the chances of accidental ignition.
Chances are you're using natural gas in your home today – to power
your cooktop, operate your clothes dryer, or to fuel your hot water heater.
It's Domestic: Every natural gas vehicle
(NGV) on the road today results in the avoidance of 100% of the petroleum
that vehicle would otherwise use, reducing our dependence on imported
It's Cheaper: With lowered maintenance costs
compare to diesel and a lower price on a gasoline gallon equivalent basis,
natural gas vehicle (NGV) operators have reduced fuel costs. FirmGreen's
gCNG™ price is even lower than non-renewable CNG!
Natural Gas is Here Now: With the hydrogen
highway at least 15 - 20 years away for the general public, natural gas
is the cleanest fuel available today.
It's an Efficient Energy Source: Click here (426KB PDF opens in new window) to download a report on efficiency & GHG's of various fuels, courtesy Argonne National Laboratory
It's an on-ramp to the hydrogen highway: Hydrogen-rich CNG and hydrogen are both gaseous fuels, requiring many
of the same infrastructure changes. The expansion of today's CNG fueling
infrastructure makes economic sense for the long run since CNG stations
can easily be converted to hydrogen fueling stations. While fuel researchers continue to work to eliminate technical barriers to the adoption of hydrogen, a shift to natural gas fuels today improves air quality now, and paves the way to an even more cleanly fueled future.
It's increasingly convenient: California, Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah and other states in the US are rapidly developing a CNG fueling infrastructure along major transportation corridors.
More NatGas Resources:
Alternative Fuels Data Center search for alternative fuel incentives
International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles: www.iangv.org/
Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition: www.ngvc.org
California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition: www.cngvc.org
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