CERA's Daniel Yergin says global gas markets will define the new century, just as oil did for the last 100 years.
In the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, , Cambridge Energy Research Associates Chairman Daniel Yergin writes of the oil industry, "This is a story of individual people, of powerful economic forces, of technological change, of political struggles, of international conflict and, indeed, of epic change."
Yergin captures in a few words oil's extraordinary past. Might those words one day describe the next 100 years of natural gas development? Talking with Yergin in early November, I found a man convinced that the forces that shaped a global oil market are at work in shaping a global market for natural gas. I'll be sharing some of his words with you.
But first, aren't we hearing just the opposite from a chorus of naysayers-that natural gas could prove more of a problem than a solution?
On the whole, energy experts have touted LNG as a useful tool to diversify America's energy mix. But after this year's run-up in natural gas prices, and forecasts for more of the same, many policymakers now see our growing dependence on natural gas as a liability:
"Over-reliance on natural gas could also have serious economic consequences-including higher prices, greater price volatility, and outright shortages," EPRI conlcuded in a report on energy security and fuel choices released in August.
"Americans had a first taste of this in the winter of 2000-2001 when wholesale natural gas prices quadrupled in a matter of months," the study continues. "This price spike disrupted regional economies, hurt energy intensive businesses and their employees, and made it costlier for people to heat their homes. Such events awaken us to the limits on gas supply and the impacts of high prices and scarcity on all gas users."