The closest thing to a sponge that would soak up some of the market's excess natural gas is more gas-fired power generating capacity. And according to Bentek Energy LLC, producers have something to look forward to in that regard.
"Some 12.5 GW [gigawatts] of gas-fired electric power generation is under construction with in-service dates ranging from between May 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2013," the Evergreen, CO-based analytics firm said in a note Thursday. "This new gas-fired capacity equals gas demand estimated by Bentek at more than 1.1 Bcf/d."
At the beginning of March, so far this year 1.6 GW of new gas-fired capacity has come online in the United States, according to Bentek. From May through the end of the year another nearly 5 GW is expected to enter service. Gas-fired units expected to enter service this year could add nearly 600 MMcf/d of gas demand, assuming 50% utilization and a heat rate of 7.5, Bentek said. Last year more than 9.2 GW of gas-fired capacity came online, burning an estimated 830 MMcf/d.
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