A recent study by the Black & Veatch Insights Group states, “Factors stoking optimism for segments of the natural gas industry are plentiful.”
Since it’s been a really tough few years for the industry, that is welcome news indeed. Of course, one of the reasons for optimism is naturally the visible fluctuations in price. Though they are not anywhere remotely near their former highs, prices are finally rising again. But that isn’t the only reason.
The study goes on to note, ““Gas is replacing many legacy coal units while also supporting the future promise of renewable power generation and emerging battery storage technology.”
However, the most promising factor has to be the emergence of new markets, and their potential for expansion. As the study explains:
“…“underserved global markets, particularly in Asia, are capitalizing on low natural gas prices to spur economic development. With limited infrastructure to produce and distribute natural gas, these markets will rely on suppliers such as the United States and Australia and will need to invest in additional pipeline infrastructure and transport projects.”
Very good news indeed.
An interesting tidbit from the Black & Veatch study was the mention of incorporating new technology. A significant portion of participants in the survey said that investing in new technology was a high or very high priority.
“Using new/innovative technology was ranked second, selected by 42% of respondents. … Organizations that invest in finding operational efficiencies now will be well-positioned to yield returns as the market rebounds.”
It will be interesting to see if this includes the use of drones, which is now being implemented with great success in the Middle East. According to an article on Rigzone.com, drones are being proven to be particularly suitable for use with the live structures in the oil and gas industry that are notoriously difficult to access, mainly due to their height.