Key areas of focus:

  1. The changes to supply and demand with the energy markets and how traditional U.S. energy flows have changed with shale development.
  2. The state of the U.S. oil and natural gas infrastructure today, including associated assets such as refineries, liquified natural gas terminals, and storage. This section includes analysis of energy delivery challenges and constraints caused by current or insufficient future physical infrastructure.
  3. The role of the government and regulatory agencies play in permitting, and identifying changes needed to create a predictable and efficient regulatory environment. This includes the challenges to permitting and siting, the efficiency of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) evaluation process, and the process for replacing aging infrastructure as well as the challenges to modernization. Public and stakeholder engagement is a critical component of the permitting process and is addressed.
  4. The impacts of emerging and future technologies and which nascent technologies merit additional research and development investment.

The study presented the US infrastructure, which supports oil and natural gas, including:

  • 300,000+ miles of natural gas transmission lines
  • 210,000+ miles of pipelines for crude oil, refined oil products, and natural gas liquids (NGLs)
  • 4,000,000+ miles of public roads
  • 135,000+ miles of freight railroads
  • 12,000+ miles of inland waterways
  • 388 active natural gas storage facilities
  • 1,499 crude oil and products terminals
  • 777 marine oil terminals
  • 5 operating liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminals

Yet, the volumes consumed by the US will continue rising, despite forecasts expecting the effects of policies to reduce GHG emissions. Thus, the report highlights the importance of maintaining and expanding the US’s current infrastructure.

Key Conclusions:

  1. The US is the largest producer of both oil and natural gas in the world, which has provided the nation with increased employment and economic growth, reduced energy imports, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Despite the goals of meeting climate change targets, the largest energy sources continue to be oil and natural gas through at least 2040 to provide reliable and affordable energy.
  3. The expansion and adaptation of transportation infrastructure capacity led to the benefits of increase in oil and natural gas production.
  4. The S. economy can benefit even further from increased export of oil and natural gas.
  5. Existing infrastructure has been modified and adapted to near-maximum capacity.
  6. Several critical infrastructure bottlenecks exist: natural gas pipeline access to New England/New York, Port of Houston channel capacity, and oil and natural gas export capability.
  7. It is challenging to keep up with hiring and developing a well-qualified workforce to build and maintain existing and future infrastructure, because of the issue of skilled labor shortage in the US.
  8. An interdependent infrastructure system of pipelines, truck, rail, and marine transport cooperating with storage ensures the delivery of reliable and affordable energy.
  9. Overlapping and duplicative regulatory requirements, inconsistencies across multiple federal and state agencies, and unnecessarily lengthy administrative procedures have created a complex and unpredictable permitting process.
  10. To achieve successful infrastructure projects, it is crucial to achieve an early, effective, and continuous stakeholder engagement and collaboration.
  11. The nation faces the dual challenge of providing affordable energy to support economic growth and human prosperity while addressing the environmental effects including the risks of climate change.
  12. The permitting and construction of numerous energy infrastructure projects have been challenged, delayed, or stopped as a result of litigation by stakeholders concerned about climate change and the associated policy debate.
  13. Crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas moved by the nation’s infrastructure reach their destinations with a high degree of safety, resiliency, and environmental performance.
  14. Advancements in new technologies have been an important contributor to industry’s safety, reliability, and environmental performance. Overcoming challenges and barriers to new technology development and deployment would accelerate these improvements.
  15. Cyber threats to energy infrastructure control systems are increasing and security protections are being challenged due to increasing connectivity and growing malicious cyber activity.

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