The Department of Energy issued a 91-page report to Congress last week outlining the potential for a major increase in natural gas production and the need for a natural gas storage facility in the Appalachian basin. Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, has been actively campaigning for the creation of a petrochemical complex in the Appalachian region, even quipping as much, “If Appalachia was an independent country, it would be the third-largest natural gas producer in the world. Unfortunately…we’re not truly using that opportunity and in some cases, we’re actually burning it away.” A study by IHS Markit predicts the basin will account for nearly 40 percent of the country’s gas production within the next 25 years; in the last decade alone, the region’s natural gas production skyrocketed from 2 percent of the U.S. total to 27 percent. Currently, West Virginia, Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania are all viable options for the ethane storage hub.

Perry sites the Appalachian basin’s low-cost natural gas and abundance of ‘wet’ natural gas, which allows it to be separated and refined into different fuels, as a major advantageous opportunity that needs to be capitalized upon for economic growth and independence in the region. Perry warned that the potential project should not be seen as threatening the existing operations in the Permian and Gulf Basins, but rather would help boost their expansion efforts in both areas and provide the U.S. with a much bigger infrastructure for energy production in the event a natural disaster shuts down production in one of the existing basins.

Original article found HERE.