Investment in Pipelines
Resurgence in the production of oil and natural gas throughout the country has resulted in the largest build-up of pipeline infrastructure that the country has ever seen. Experts project that more than $130 billion of investments will be required by the year 2030. This amounts to at least $6 billion per year for the next 20 years.
The abundance of new oil and gas supplies have turned what was a once bleak Middle East centric energy dependence into one of North American independence and energy security. New technology has resulted in the discovery of reserves that could mean the United States will produce more oil and gas annually than Saudi Arabia and Russia by 2020.
Communities will continue to see the benefits of this renaissance. Unemployment is virtually zero in the areas where the development is occurring, and in many cases there are not enough workers to support the work that is being done. Housing developments, hotels and even modern man-camps with professional chefs and all the comforts of home are being utilized to house thousands of workers. Sales and income tax collections have assisted many of the states in recovery from the economic downturn in 2009. And, as pipelines are built, property tax revenue will continue to provide stable income to local government as often times energy infrastructure is the highest contributor to the local tax roll.
With this development, and the goal of shifting from an energy importer to net exporter, there is great hope the prosperity will continue for these communities for years to come.
On the distribution side, across the country, pipeline operators continue to make considerable progress replacing some of the nation’s oldest pipelines that have delivered natural gas within communities for decades. This aging system was constructed of cast or wrought iron and bar steel pipes. Since 2004, tens of thousands of miles of distribution mains have been replaced across the country with some states completing total replacement of these pipes, with many more distribution pipeline replacement projects currently underway.