“There was a moment of real pain” after the 2010 earthquake, said John Stott, a natural gas consultant and former chairman of the board of New York-based CNOOC.
“There were people who were just devastated, people who lost their homes, people that lost their jobs.”
The New Yorker reported that “suddenly, the economic downturn hit” in 2012, causing many companies to close their plants.
CNOOP said it closed 1,600 plants in 2012 and another 1,300 plants in 2013.
“We are not seeing the same kind of rapid development as we did before,” said Stott.
He said natural gas companies have struggled with the downturn in the U.S. and Europe, but also with a sharp decline in demand in China and Japan, where natural gas prices have plummeted.
“They’re very focused on developing shale gas, which is a big market,” Stott said.
CNG and natural gas “are not mutually exclusive,” he said.
Natural gas prices are now around $2 a million British thermal unit, or Btu, which costs about $5.60 per million British.
The price of natural gas in the United States has been trending down since late 2015.
But prices are on a steady rise across the country.
“What is going on is not just a natural price rise but also a price decline that has been happening over time,” Stottsaid.
“It’s a trend that we are seeing.
It’s just a matter of time before it reaches a level that is more sustainable for everyone.”
Stott added that he expects natural gas will continue to rise for the foreseeable future.
“The natural gas market is still in a state of flux,” he noted.
“Natural gas is still the No. 1 gas in America.”