Ohio Valley will supply nearly half of US natural gas by 2040

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natural gas rig

COLUMBUS — The Marcellus and Utica shale formations are among the largest sources of natural gas and natural gas liquids in the world, and their production will increase exponentially in the next two decades.

That’s according to an IHS Markit study released March 19 at the World Petrochemical Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Natural gas from the tri-state region of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will supply 45 percent of the nation’s production by 2040, up from 31 percent this year, according to the IHS study.

The production of the natural gas liquids ethane, propane and butane (LPG) is expected to nearly double in the same period, accounting for 19 percent of the nation’s total by 2040, up from 14 percent in 2018, the study shows.

“Research continues to drive home the myriad economic advantages for manufacturers in the Shale Crescent region when compared to other, more traditionally accepted energy and chemical hubs,” said Wally Kandel, spokesperson for Shale Crescent USA. “There are few other places in the world, if any, where the supply, manufacturing facilities and end users are all in close proximity.”

The study, commissioned by Shale Crescent USA and JobsOhio, quantifies the anticipated development and production growth emerging from the Utica and Marcellus shale.

The 2019 study found that by 2020, cost advantages for the production of various natural gas liquids in the Midwest versus the Gulf Coast are expected to range from 6 percent to 26 percent.

The savings are impacting petrochemical company expansion plans. Dana Saucier Jr., JobsOhio vice president and head of economic development, said they are in conversations with “companies seeking to expand as well as construct new plants in the region.”

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