By: Scott Staruch

The 2014 Penn State Natural Gas Utilization Conference heads to Canonsburg, Pa., October 14-15. The conference’s fourth installment will showcase the latest trends in natural gas use.

Presented by America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR) and Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center (SGICC), the conference will feature presentations from energy industry experts, business leaders, government officials and academic researchers. These speakers will discuss how the natural gas revolution is reshaping natural gas’ role as a transportation fuel, revitalizing our manufacturing sector and providing a cleaner fuel source for power generation needs. The full agenda is available at

“Connecting natural gas and natural gas liquid supplies to end-users will again be a focus this year,” says Tom Murphy, co-director of MCOR. “While estimates on the domestic recoverable supply of natural gas range from 2,000 to more than 3,000 trillion cubic feet, pipeline constraints still inhibit wider consumption.  That’s why we’re excited to have Range Resources, UGI Energy Services, Williams and others participating to discuss what infrastructure projects are underway and on the horizon to move this supply across the economy.”

For perspective on America’s supply of natural gas, in 2013 the U.S. consumed approximately 26 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. So if use remained constant, there’s enough natural gas in America to power the country for at least the next 76 years – and that’s a conservative estimate.

Given that staggering supply base, the conference will also examine the geopolitical and economic benefits of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports in relationship to global supply and demand forecasts. As ANGA President and CEO Marty Durbin explained to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last month, “Given the disparity between projected [natural gas] demand, and the number of [LNG export] facilities being proposed worldwide, the window of opportunity for the U.S. to get involved is narrow.”

In addition to global natural gas flows, the conference will look at natural gas consumption in North, Latin and South America, as well as where Appalachian gas reserves from formations like the Marcellus and Utica are being delivered.

“We’re extremely excited for the 2014 Utilization Conference,” says Bill Hall, director of SGICC. “Each year we continue attract new attendees, from public officials to facility managers to business owners to educators and beyond. Once again, we will combine technical presentations with real-life applications enabling attendees to understand how they can take advantage of domestic natural gas.”

One of the conference highlights will be the natural gas vehicle and equipment (NGVE) display and reception on Tuesday evening, October 14, an event that will be open to conference attendees and the public. Previous displays have included compressed natural gas (CNG) sedans, taxis, pick-up trucks, fire trucks and tractor-trailers. The 2014 display will build on this tradition – but take it well beyond.

“This year’s display will feature more than just CNG and LNG vehicles, “ says Matt Henderson, shale gas asset manager of MCOR, who explains that the NGVE display will show how natural gas affects everyday life as an essential feedstock in the glass, plastics and chemicals industries.  

“Companies are utilizing more natural gas in their heavy equipment, onsite power and heating needs. Subsequently the economic impact of shale energy goes far beyond production,” continues Henderson. “While new technologies are being developed and employed in the oil and gas industry, the low-cost, abundant resource has an impact that reaches far and wide. The conference and displays will highlight some of these advancements. We are focusing on the downstream sector, from which we have tracked more than $110 billion in announced projects that span the country and impact multiple industries.”

For more information and to register for the 2014 Penn State Natural Gas Utilization Conference, visit

Scott Staruch serves on the 2014 Penn State Natural Gas Utilization Conference Planning Committee. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.