CANADA GLOBE AND MAIL -- "Spectra Energy Corp. (YSE)
is driving North America’s pipeline construction boom into the heart of New York City, part of a massive industry push to connect previously untapped shale gas and oil reserves to under-served markets. From the growing Alberta oil sands to booming production in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale gas reserves, new fuel sources are prompting pipeline companies to refashion the continent’s energy arteries.
Houston-based Spectra Energy Corp., for example, is spending $800-million to lay a mere 15 miles of natural gas pipeline into Jersey City and Manhattan. Spectra’s pipeline extension is a key part of energy strategies embraced by the State of New Jersey and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to switch from heating oil to cheaper, cleaner-burning gas.
Spectra chief executive officer Greg Ebel said the pipeline project – so costly because it traverses such a densely developed area – could save consumers in the New York City area more than $250-million a year on their energy bills. It’s just one example of the vast opportunity for North American pipeline companies as producers use modern extraction techniques to boost production of shale gas and tight oil structures.
“I think we’re just at the early stages of really understanding just how powerful a resource this can be in the United States and in Canada,” Mr. Ebel said in an interview. Spectra – which owns Ontario’s Union Gas local distributor as well as pipelines and processing plants in western Canada – has a $5-billion capital expenditure program planned for the next five years."