Much of the world’s developed gas, water and electric infrastructure is aging and in need of modernization. Many utilities still rely on the same electric grid that was built 100 years ago, and many of the water and gas pipes that were laid decades ago.
More than 2 million miles of natural gas pipeline in the United States distribute natural gas to customers every day. Considering the amount of natural gas flowing across the country at any given time, gas providers have an exceedingly good safety record. While serious incidents are uncommon, all it takes is one major event like the San Bruno explosion in September 2010 to focus national attention on the potential risk of natural gas and the need for continued diligence on the part of the gas industry.
On April 15, 2010 at approximately 4 p.m., the quiet neighborhood of Calhoun, GA, 65 miles north of Atlanta, was rocked by an explosion. The force of the blast blew out windows within a quarter-mile radius and could be felt up to two miles away.
During his lengthy executive career, Carl W. Porter has worked on both sides of the natural gas aisle – as a pipeline operator delivering product to consumers and on the service side providing operating companies with the latest tools designed to make their companies more efficient and ultimately leading to better-served customers.
Global natural gas reserves of over 6,000 Tcf would suggest abundant supplies to meet continuing increases in demand. Yet, like oil, it is a non-renewable resource. As society comprehends the inevitable decline of fossil fuels and the impacts of carbon dioxide emissions, energy utilities and consumers are realizing the significance of long-term energy sustainability and the expanding role of natural gas.