New York Now a Net Exporter of Natural Gas!

environmental justiceTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


Despite the best efforts of its fractivists New York has become a net exporter of natural gas to Canada. Now, imagine the possibilities, if only…

I hesitate to offer this story as it will undoubtedly only fan the flames of folly erupting over the baseless speculation of fractivists that the proposed Port Ambrose import facility off the coast of Long Island is really an export facility in disguise, but the facts are too fascinating too ignore. New York State has already become a net exporter of natural gas – to Canada. Moreover, it’s Marcellus Shale gas that’s being exported. Imagine what this would mean if New York allowed the Southern Tier to develop that gas!

The fact New York is now a net exporter of natural gas was revealed by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Monday with this chart and explanation (emphasis added):

New York net exporter of natural gas

Because of increased natural gas production in the Marcellus, imports of natural gas in the Northeast have declined since 2007 to 10 Bcf in 2014. Previously, almost all of natural gas imports in the Northeast came from Canada delivered across the New York/Canadian border. These imported volumes made up 50% to 80% of total New York natural gas consumption prior to 2010, but this level dropped to 4% in 2013.

Although additional supplies from the Cove Point terminal in Maryland, which began operation in 2003, alleviate demand for imports from Canada in this state, imports from Canada in the Northeast continued to rise until 2007, when the United States began producing more shale gas. With increasing production in the Northeast, the United States began exporting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale to Canada in 2011, and natural gas imports fell to new lows.

A major development in the Northeast was the completion of the Northern Access Expansion Project in late 2012, which increased delivery capacity to Canada by 320 MMcf/d, crossing the Niagara Falls exit point in western New York. In 2014, New York became a net exporter of natural gas to Canada.

Hard to believe, isn’t it? It demonstrates something we too easily forget in the chaos of fracking debates; economics cannot be denied for long. Marcellus Shale is also arguably saving Western Civilization by fundamentally transforming trade and our dependence on others, not that Canada isn’t a friend, but many other suppliers of imported gas are not.

NY net exporter of gas

Other takeaways? Well, consider the fact New York could be its own supplier of natural gas and not even depend on Pennsylvania, not to mention Canada or other countries, for its gas. Also, notice how pipelines serve to meet our energy needs and allow for delivery of product where needed, when needed and at a competitive price. What’s not to like about that?

The developers of Port Ambrose have positioned themselves as an alternative to fracking New York, but the reality, counter to that self-serving and shallow posturing, is that New York needs it all – fracking, pipelines and import facilities – and fractivists want to deny New Yorkers all three to satisfy their own narrow and craven ideological goals. They won’t be successful in the long-run, though. The laws of economics always prevail in the end. After all, New York is already a net exporter of natural gas.

net exporter - ProductionAssets

Map of National Fuel and Seneca Resources Production Assets in Relation to Canada

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2 thoughts on “New York Now a Net Exporter of Natural Gas!

  1. My question is why has there not been multiple “taking” lawsuits against the State of NY and the Governor, for inverse condemnation of minerals and the rights to produce? In CA, as well as all mining states (usually Spanish law preceding US patents) minerals are the dominant estate. Recent CA oil and gas and mineral law cases: (A) The 2015 Hermosa Beach vote on allowing E&B Resources to drill on their drill site proposed location which emanates from a 20 year lawsuit that demanded over $700 million from the City of Hermosa Beach for their “taking” of surface access to a large group of mineral owners, all under lease and its Operator. The City had to “settle” or face bankruptcy. E&B, the successor Operator, lost the vote by substantial margin, but the City now owes the Operator $17 million due to City’s residents voting against the drilling project; (B) the now classic 2014 failure of Santa Barbara, the home of the environmental movement, which spawned the vituperative EPA, to ban fracing last year. That legislative ditty, failed, solely due to the threat of liability from the mineral owners, the harmed parties, and their threat against the City, and by extension, the residents and their tax money; (C) You know change is in the air when a few business women on the City Council of La Habra, wisely counseled their fellow Council members of dead certain liability from the mineral owners and their lessees in reference to the scheduled vote for an ordinance to prohibit fracing, gravel packs, acid stimulation, etc. The vote to ban failed. There is hope. Pipeline projects, oil, gas and other mineral development, still have dominant estate rights and attendant surface access rights and, as such, it will be up to the states to enforce such. Marcellus gas province states and municipalities now have proven rock solid gas reserves, that have assignable economic value and therefore, their is considerable value in the access rights (pro oil and gas ordinances that allow for drilling new wells, along with the pipeline infrastructure). Full access to drilling and pipeline easements in rural areas and use of the accommodation rules for urban areas should be used first, then condemnation for full potential value is the next step in due process.

  2. Wow just imagine how much NY state will be making when they start developing our seized minerol rights? Well, they were ours once. Now they belong to NYC.

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