The natural gas sector’s focus on liquefied natural gas exports should not overshadow the large and growing demand for gas for domestic consumption, Williams (NYSE:WMB) President and CEO Alan Armstrong said Thursday, according to S&P Global Platts.
Armstrong noted record gas-fired power generation in July, continued growth of renewable sources’ share of generation, and the associated need for gas’ firmer attributes to compensate for renewable variability as evidence that LNG exports are only part of the demand equation, S&P Global reported.
“The macro picture we’re seeing around electrification, and the amount of power demand increase that continues to build in this country is pretty impressive,” Armstrong said on the company’s post-earnings conference call.
In addition to rising demand for cooling – the July heat wave resulted in new records and gas-fired power topping 53B cf/day on two consecutive days, according to S&P Global data – a general increase in demand for power driven by economic growth and the energy transition will add to the importance of natural gas in the generation mix, Armstrong said.
“The amount of electrification load that’s going on is well in excess of what our increasing wind and solar generation can keep up with, and so we’re not only going to see peaking, we’re going to see baseload increase as well,” the CEO said.
Armstrong’s comments came after Williams (WMB) reported better than expected Q2 earnings as it transported higher volumes of natural gas.
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