If the Appalachian Basin – West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania – were an independent country, it would be the world’s third largest producer of natural gas today. That’s the conclusion of a U.S. Department of Energy study, which recommends construction of an Appalachian Storage and Trade Hub to provide more efficient, cleaner and more reliable supplies of energy and liquid natural gas.
The report concludes that by the year 2050, the Appalachian and east coast states will produce more than 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas – more than the combined total of the Gulf Coast and the entire United States.
In addition to creating as many as 100,000 new jobs in downstream development projects, the proposed new storage hub would help the United States better supply the world with reliable energy, liquid natural gas liquids and other products.
The West Virginia State Journal reports that, already, potential sites for the new hub have been narrowed down and negotiations with landowners are underway. Meanwhile, the Appalachian Development Group has named Parsons Corp. of California as its engineering, procurement and construction partner.
The Appalachian storage hub will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions because fewer pipelines and compression stations will be needed: today, gas collected in the Appalachian Basin must be transported to the Gulf Coast before it can be refined and shipped back north, where most of the U.S. markets are.
Nearly one-third of U.S. petrochemical activity occurs within 300 miles of Pittsburgh, the study notes, with more than $300 billion in net revenue, 900,000 workers and 7,500 establishments.
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