Natural gas: The next shortage



The eighth Annual Meeting of the Gas Research Institute that was held in Chicago in April 1984 focused on the potential of a crisis in the supply of natural gas. According to a report of discussions held at that meeting, “Natural gas, the country's largest petrochemical feedstock, may be in short supply in a couple of years if some present forecasts prove true. The next supply/demand crisis for natural gas is likely to come in early 1986” [Chemical and Engineering News, April 30, 1984]. There are a number of variables, geologic and socio-economic, that may affect this prediction. An important factor is that drilling exploration of natural gas has decreased sharply, due to the onset of sharp rates of surplus since 1981. Drilling is highly sensitive to depth and flow rate.