The natural gas industry is simultaneously undergoing fundamental structural change and being challenged to cultivate an array of new market opportunities. To successfully navigate through this period of transition, meet the needs of energy consumers, and capture the market potential for gas, the industry must carefully assess its market opportunities and the actions required to achieve them.
As part of its efforts to address those issues, in 1992 the INGAA Foundation conducted a study published as Impediments to New Natural Gas Markets, which identifies the most promising new markets for natural gas and the obstacles to their full development. One of the key findings of that study is the need to adjust gas RD&D priorities to foster optimal development of natural gas markets. In response to this need, the INGAA Foundation engaged The Fleming Group to conduct a survey among its membership on gas RD&D priorities. The survey was implemented by mail in February and March of 1993.
In February and March of 1993, the INGAA Foundation surveyed its member companies to determine their priorities for natural gas research, development and demonstration (RD&D).
Setting clear research priorities is particularly critical to the natural gas industry and to energy consumers in light of the changes set in motion by recent legislation, especially the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, anticipated changes in energy policy direction from the new presidential administration, and FERC Order 636.
Responses were received from 43 member companies: 13 pipeline companies, 13 services companies, and 17 supplier and manufacturing companies.
Survey participants were asked to assign priorities to four gas RD&D program areas. The four areas, in the order of priority respondents gave them, are gas utilization; environmental and regulatory impacts; gas delivery and storage; and gas resources and extraction
Gas utilization RD&D was ranked as the first priority among the four program areas by the largest number of respondents, 44% of all participants. Almost three-quarters of the participants ranked utilization RD&D as the first or second priority.
Environmental and regulatory impacts RD&D was assigned second priority among the four
program areas. Almost one-third of respondents assigned environmental regulatory impacts the highest priority, and almost two-thirds ranked it as either the first or second priority for RD&D.
Overall, survey participants indicated that gas delivery and storage RD&D should be given third priority among the four RD&D areas. (Supplier and manufacturing company respondents placed relatively more emphasis on this area, and less on utilization, than other respondents.) Gas resource and extraction RD&D was clearly ranked fourth, being assigned the lowest priority by almost two-thirds of the respondents.
Within each program area, respondents were asked to prioritize technologies and markets in which those technologies are used.