Shale gas development provides another opportunity for economic growth and a secure energy future. Several major shale gas formations are located, in part, across eight of 11 states in AEP’s service territory, including two of the fastest growing: the Utica in Ohio and West Virginia and the Eagle Ford in Texas. Extraction of gas from shale formations is changing the fuel mix across the industry by making gas more competitively priced with other fuel sources. Shale gas is abundant in much of our footprint, and extraction with more efficient technologies, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (also called fracking), is boosting local economies and creating growth opportunities for many of our customers and communities.
Energy companies operating in Ohio extracted 10 times as much from horizontal drilling in the Utica shale formation in the third quarter of 2013 as they did in all of 2012, according to figures released by the state. The Utica shale lies in and near parts of our service territory.
Drilling on the Eagle Ford shale formation in Texas has created higher demand for and the need for quick access to, electricity. Our Economic & Business Development teams across areas with active shale plays provide expertise and tools for oil and gas companies and suppliers to explore opportunities for relocation and help identify the most cost-effective locations. Resources include a one-stop location online to get the services they need. AEP Texas and AEP Ohio also have online resources dedicated to the development needs of the oil and gas industries in those states. This collaboration creates mutual benefits, including job creation and an accessible and efficient supply chain, as well as electricity demand growth.
Our Economic & Business Development teams across areas with active shale plays provide expertise and tools for oil and gas companies and suppliers to explore opportunities for relocation and help identify the most cost-effective locations.
Being innovative and delivering good customer service positions AEP to take advantage of emerging business opportunities across our service territory.
AEP Transmission installed its first “station in a box” in Catarina, Texas, in 2012, a unique pre-packaged substation design that can be built in about half the typical construction time frame of a traditionally built permanent station. The shale gas development in Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas and Ohio has companies racing to extract the fuel deep beneath the earth’s surface, sometimes in very remote locations. Natural gas companies cannot wait the typical 12 to 18 months for the completion of a traditional substation. To serve these customers’ needs quickly, AEP Transmission developed a “skid station” – a portable station on a skid that can be installed in a matter of weeks before the station in a box can be built for permanent service. By creating a basic yet high-tech skid-mounted substation, we can deliver power in just four to eight weeks.
It is clear that shale gas is changing our industry and contributing to overall lower and more stable natural gas prices. AEP supports development of shale gas resources provided it is done in an environmentally responsible manner.