Saturday, June 15, 2024

Chevron’s Natural Gas Chief Trumpets Permit Reform, Infrastructure Expansion to Meet Mounting Demand

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Chevron Corp.’s Freeman Shaheen is on a mission to meet what he expects could be years of increased natural gas consumption – and decades of enduring demand ahead. However, he said the industry broadly needs a leg up from policymakers in the nation’s capital.

U.S. lawmakers must “streamline” a cumbersome regulatory approval process that is peppered with hurdles that often delay needed projects for years and discourage investment, he said. “The permitting process is so onerous,” Shaheen, president of Chevron’s Global Gas division, said Monday during the Northeast LDC Gas Forum in Boston.

At issue: Natural gas pipeline and storage projects can take three to six years – sometimes longer – to secure all approvals. Exhaustive regulatory scrutiny and lawsuits filed by environmentalists that oppose most fossil fuel expansion bog down projects. The lawsuits also drive up costs and starve swaths of the Lower 48 of infrastructure needed to store and move gas. This comes at a time when domestic demand drivers are emerging and global calls for American LNG are poised to surge, Shaheen said.

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