Citing unprecedented growth from North American shale plays in recent years, the International Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) Foundation estimates that roughly $641 billion will need to be spent on midstream infrastructure over the next two decades in order to keep pace with rapidly increasing oil and gas production demands.
Annual spending through 2035 could reach as high as $30 billion per year, which is nearly triple the amount that has been spent annually over the past 10 years. Almost half of that sum will be spent on new pipelines that connect existing refining facilities to shale plays across North America. The study projects between now and 2035, over 300,000 miles of gas gathering lines and as much as 35,000 miles of new transmission lines will be need to be built.
While the increased capacity required to meet rising energy demands will be a large driver of spending, a significant portion of this money will also be used to build new refining facilities that align geographically with existing formations and to replace aging and/or damaged pipeline infrastructure that’s currently in place throughout the U.S. and Canada.
The report says, “Significant development of natural gas infrastructure (is projected) to accommodate the rapidly growing gas supplies from shale. Thus much new gas gathering and pipeline infrastructure will be needed well into the future. While the pipeline projects included in this study typically are shorter distance projects than those seen in prior studies, the costs and levels of investment in them is about the same because pipeline costs have risen.”