Natural gas pipeline boom expected to lead to 125,000 new jobs


The rush towards natural gas is also turning natural gas pipeline construction into a booming business for jobs and investment, with more than $200 billion capital investment and an additional 125,000 jobs expected in the next 25 years, according to a Black & Veatch study released on Friday.

The study, which was commissioned by the INGAA Foundation, estimates that construction of necessary new pipelines will generate more than $171 billion in labor income, with jobs that pay on average about $65,000. The investment will fund an average of 2,000 miles of new natural gas transmission lines each year through 2035, according to the study.

The study also estimates $46 billion in capital investment for NGL and oil pipeline infrastructure.

Contracts for March delivery of natural gas are currently trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at a low price of $2.54.  But experts have said that, even with the low prices, the lack of capacity of natural gas pipelines is holding back its greater adoption in the United States.

“Going to a system that requires 99 percent reliability of a supply of natural gas is going to require a huge amount of pipeline building,” said Ed Hirs, an energy economics professor at the University of Houston. “The pipeline network is not currently structured to move enough natural gas to the East Coast if it is a cold winter.”

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Emily Pickrell

One Response

  1. Mike H. says:

    I sure wish these pipelines would fix their existing systems before even thinking of expanding. For example, Tennessee Gas Pipeline has had 6 major accidents, resulting in evacuations, one even burning homes & other buildings, in just the last 1 1/2 years. One of the failures was near where their pipeline killed 17 people in Nachitoches, LA in 1965. Another place was where a sleeve on a wrinkle bend failed, that had been installed in 1946! 65 years later, they figured it was still OK, until it failed. Yet this same pipeline has the money to expand.

    And, they are not the only pipeline with issues.

    People have been killed, & buildings, & land have been burned by gas transmission pipeline failures in Class 1 areas, where Integrity Management (IM) is not required.