Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)
Harper, William B.; Fanelli, Leonard L.
Natural gas, pp. 807-847 ff. PDF (4.1 MB)
807Natural Gas By William B. Harper1 and Leonard L. Fanelli2 Natural gas consumption in 1972 was only slightly above that of 1971. Pipeline transmission companies were compelled to curtail sales to industrial consumers. However, these curtailments were slightly more than offset by increases in residential and commercial uses. Total natural gas used in 1972 amounted to nearly 23 trillion cubic feet, or nearly 1.5% over that of 1971. Production totaled 22.5 trillion cubic feet in 1972, a volume only 38.7 billion cubic feet or 1% higher thanAhat of 1971, as shown in table 1. PipeliI~e imports passed the 1 trillion-cubic-foot milestone in 1972, rising to 1,019 billion cubic feet, a 9.1% increase. Canada accounted for all but 1% of imports in 1972. In addition, 674,000 barrels of liquefied natural gas (LNG), equivalent to 2,261.5 million cubic feet (MMcf), were imported from Algeria and Canada. Approximately 30 billion cubic feet of natural gas was exported by pipeline, of which 52% was moved to Canada by pipeline. Mexico received 14.6 billion cubic feet or 48% also by pipeline. In addition, 47.9 billion cubic feet of LNG was exported to Japan from Alaska during 1972. Proved reserves of natural gas declined again as withdrawals (production) exceeded, by a wide margin, additions to reserves from new discoveries and extensions of known fields. Also, previous estimates of reserves were revised downward drastically, particularly in Texas. The average value of natural gas at the well inched upward 0.4 cents from 18.2 cents to 18.6 cents per thousand cubic feet (Mcf). Some 604,000 new residential users of natural gas were added, raising the total to 39,871,000 by the end of 1972, for an increase of 1.5%. The use of gas by residential clients increased 3.0%. Pipeline networks expanded in 1972. Some 16,500 miles of line were added pri manly in the distribution category. Capital expenditures for new plants and equipment rose from $2,419 million in 1971 to $2,822 million in 1972. Construction of new synthetic gas plants using liquid hydrocarbons, such as naphtha for feedstocks, are progressing slowly. One such plant, designed to operate seasonally, has been completed, and two similar plants are expected to start up early in 1974. At the end of 1972, there were three plants under construction. Coal gasification received additional impetus as the result of an agreement between the Department of the Interior and the American Gas Association (AGA) to jointly finance a research program that will cost about $120 million over a 4-year period. This project is being funded through the Department of the Interior's Office of Coal Research. Inability to obtain additional gas supplies has created problems for both the transmission companies and the distributors. Firm volume curtailments for the 1972—73 winter season, reported by 14 pipeline transmission companies, totaled 565.6 billion cubic feet according to the Federal Power Commission (FPC). Legislation and Government Programs.— Federal Power Commission (FPC) Area Rate Proceedings: South Louisiana Area—Subsequent to the issuance by the FPC of Opinion 598 establishing base area rates in the South Louisiana Area, the Commission issued another opinion, Opinion 598-A, on rehearing in September 1972. Arguments were heard in October 1972, and since then the Fifth Circuit Court has affirmed FPC Opinion 598 which accepted the United Distribution Companies (UDC) Settlement Proposal in the second South Louisiana Area 1 Mineral specialist, Division of Fossil Fuels. 2 Survey statistician, Division of Fossil Fuels.
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