Can Virtual Pipelines Rescue New England from Russian LNG?

The whole story of Russian LNG coming to Boston to help New England with its crisis shortage of natural gas continues to irk us. Although Russia and the Yamal plant where the gas was liquefied were sanctioned under President Obama. However, the actual gas itself was/is not sanctioned, for whatever reason. We have a situation where New England continues to obstinately refuse new natgas pipelines, instead buying LNG from Russia during critical shortages. We’re paying (and depending on) our enemies for natural gas when world-class supplies of it exist a few hundred miles away in the Marcellus. We’ve written about this confounding situation since early January (see our Russian LNG stories here). Last Friday the co-founder of NG Advantage–a “virtual pipeline” company that compresses natural gas from interstate pipelines and transports it, via trucks, to businesses and organizations that want gas but can’t get it via pipelines–wrote an intriguing blog post. Tom Evslin’s post makes a case for using virtual pipelines (i.e. CNG transported by trucks) as an alternative to help alleviate the extreme winter shortages in New England. Could trucked CNG (and LNG) actually eliminate the need for a pipeline to New England? We would argue “no.” However, without a doubt a virtual pipeline could help in certain places and under certain circumstances. Here’s Tom’s argument in favor of using virtual pipelines to alleviate New England’s stubbornly high prices for natural gas, and possibly save us from importing Russian LNG…

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