It’s a question that gets asked all the time about the state of natural gas in New York, a state that has long been synonymous with the oil and gas boom.
And while the industry is still in the early stages of the transition to a carbon-neutral economy, a recent decline in natural gas has sparked concern about the viability of a booming coal industry.
“The natural gas industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in New Jersey,” said Michael Bowers, chief executive officer of the New Jersey Coalition of Natural Gas Producers.
“The industry is doing very well and has grown from about $1.6 billion in 2011 to $4.2 billion in 2018.”
But with natural gas production outpacing demand in recent years, it’s unclear whether the industry can continue to compete on price alone.
In fact, New Jersey has had some of the lowest natural gas costs in the country.
And that has contributed to the state’s low natural gas rates.
“We have very little to show for it,” Bowers said.
“There are no new pipelines, there’s no new drilling rigs, there is no new natural gas pipelines, which means there’s a very limited amount of natural resources available for drilling.”
Natural gas prices are among the lowest in the United States.
The average natural gas price is $3.90 per million British thermal units (Btu), a price that is lower than any other energy source in the U.S. The national average is $4 per Btu.
In New Jersey, natural gas is sold for $3 to $3 per thousand Btu, with the state also selling a mix of cheaper, cheaper gas for a much lower price.
For comparison, New York’s average natural fuel price is about $2.20 per BtU, which is the second lowest in New England.
The lowest average price in the nation is about half that.
“Our natural gas economy has become a large, important part of the economy in New Brunswick,” said New Brunswick Mayor John P. DiMicco.
“It is a vital part of our economy.
And it’s an important part that is expanding as the economy continues to grow.”
Despite the low natural-gas prices, New Brunswick’s gas industry has seen a steady increase in jobs and growth, especially in the last few years.
The natural- gas industry in New Brunswickers town of Hoboken is one that has seen steady growth.
A 2014 study from the New Brunswick Department of Economic Development found that the region had more than 1,600 jobs in the natural gas sector.
That same year, New Brunshammers Natural Gas Company announced it would hire 3,000 employees.
“There’s a tremendous amount of energy, energy jobs in New-Brunswick, and it’s a critical part of what’s creating jobs in our economy,” DiMiccos said.
According to Bowers of the Natural Gas Coalition, New-Burstgas and NJNEC, the natural-fuel industry is in a “bubble.”
But it is also facing a steep decline in jobs, and Bowers thinks the natural economy is one for which it needs to focus more.
“This is a great opportunity for New Brunswick to be an energy hub, and New Brunswick is doing the right thing by expanding its natural gas and coal industries,” he said.