The natural gas industry—especially in North America—has undergone some interesting changes in the past several years. Rapidly increasing supplies have led to falling prices, which has in turn resulted in the fuel replacing other energy sources like coal.
What can industry observers and everyday consumers expect from the industry in 2014? Writing for the Motley Fool, contributor Justin Loiseau listed four predictions for the coming year.
As already noted, one of the major changes will involve the increased reliance on natural gas for electricity. Loiseau notes that utilities that primarily use nuclear power are finding it difficult to keep up with natural gas plants. Though consumer demand will eventually cause gas prices to rise a bit, the source will still be competitive and is set to change the energy landscape.
Loiseau also predicts that more demand for natural gas will come in the form of transportation. Though few consumers seem to be thinking about this, it is true that commercial vehicle fleets are turning toward this source. For example, UPS has already replaced a number of its trucks with natural gas-powered models. Considering that new stations sell the fuel at $2.09 per gallon, this was an economical decision.
Finally, increased natural gas exports will affect both the U.S. and global economy, changing the existing dynamic between energy-producing and energy-consuming nations.
All of these trends will require natural gas companies to step up production. With hydraulic jet pumps and other innovative artificial lift solutions in place, the industry will be able to improve efficiency and be better prepared to meet demand.