Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Demand for Natural Gas Outpaces Supply

Gulf Coast Natural Gas Facilities Are Recovering, but Supply Lags, FERC Commissioner Says
Progress is being made in restoring offshore natural gas facilities shut down by hurricanes, but gas prices will remain high as demand outpaces supply, the head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Tuesday.
Even with recovery of operations along the Gulf Coast, "I don't think they'll go back to the level they were a few years ago," said FERC chairman Joseph Kelliher.
He said that shut-in, or halted gas production along the Gulf has gone from 54 percent of normal output three weeks ago to 32 percent, representing significant progress but also pointing to the remaining damage that has disrupted supplies and driven up heating fuel costs.Twenty percent of U.S. natural gas supply comes from the offshore Gulf.
Kelliher, who took over as FERC chairman this summer, said the agency plans to make aggressive use of investigative powers under the recently enacted energy law to prevent market manipulations such as those by Enron several years ago.He would not comment when asked if FERC is currently engaged in undisclosed investigations.


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