Friday, October 16, 2009

Burgh Energy Report: Natural Gas Buzz

I've got a bunch of good blog posts lined up, but I doubt I'll get to them all before heading to Maui on Sunday. I'll be incognito all next week, a real vacation. Today's news concerns unconventional natural gas. Read Chris Briem's post about drilling in the city. I'll add to the theme with this tidbit from the Tribune-Review:

Hart Energy Publishing LP is organizing the event where executives from leading operators in the Marcellus Shale regions of Western Pennsylvania and bordering states will discuss their drilling programs.

Originally, a few hundred people were expected. But registration has grown to more than 1,300 registrants, the VisitPittsburgh tourism agency said Thursday.

The unexpected interest in the conference demanded a change in venue. I'm curious as to why the hosts were unable to anticipate how many people would come. It's almost an order of magnitude bigger. Does the regional industry leadership understand how big this play is?

Unless monitoring is greatly expanded, they say, such emissions could soar as global production of natural gas increases over the next few decades.

The Energy Department projects that gas production could rise nearly 50 percent over the next 20 years as companies race to discover and tap new sources. In the United States, 4,000 miles of new pipeline was laid last year alone.

But the industry has been largely resistant to an aggressive cleanup.

Anyone still wonder why the unconventional natural gas convention needed a bigger space?

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