BlueRidge, Appalachian MountainsAs the U.S. pursues cleaner and more sustainable energy sources, the shale gas revolution is taking the country by storm. It’s been heralded as a possible precursor to the renaissance of U.S. manufacturing and has not only drawn much in the way of investment, but also in the way of discussion about its viability. Two of the hottest shale gas plays in the country — Marcellus and Utica — are located throughout the Appalachian basin in the Northeastern U.S. Next week I’m headed to Pittsburgh for the Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conference & Exhibition to learn more about what's in store for the shale resources in this region.

The Marcellus-Utica shale plays are full of opportunity, as increasing production potential and emerging natural gas markets converge in the Northeast. These emerging markets are not just the big population centers in the region; there is also the potential to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) and lead an increase in industrial use due to the low cost and abundant supply.

Now in its fifth year, the Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conference & Exhibition is a great opportunity connect with key players in the midstream industry, from producers to transporters, and to learn how each plays a role in transforming the region’s energy supply-and-demand dynamics its effect on the energy paradigm across the U.S.

The conference agenda is packed with shale experts and industry leaders who will cover the outlook for Marcellus-Utica, how industrial users are transforming from low-costs and abundant gas, and the shift from importer of gas supplies to exporter. Pipeline projects will be a hot topic again this year at the show, and several companies — like DTE Energy, Kinder Morgan and Rockies Express Pipeline — will be sharing case studies from new and existing pipeline projects.

I’m especially looking forward to the opening keynote session with Alan Armstrong, president and CEO of The Williams Cos, who will discuss his company’s large-scale projects that will connect Northeast shale supplies to markets outside the region. Also on my must-see list? The closing keynote with Scott Garner from MarkWest Energy Partners, who will talk about the company’s growth as a gas processor in the region, and the session with Tony Blando and the Columbia Pipeline Group, will discuss his organization’s expansion in the region and its modernization plans.

If you’re headed to the Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conference it would be great to meet you. Be sure to stop by the Burns & McDonnell booth (#607) and say hello.

Other resources on this topic:

Shale gas: A renaissance in U.S. manufacturing?

The Global Impact of U.S. Shale

U.S. Shale Boom Drives Record Oil-Related Exports

Dana Book is the manager of pipeline projects at Burns & McDonnell. He has project experience managing pipeline design, construction and integrity programs, including considerable international experience. He has worked for some of the largest hydrocarbon producers and energy companies in the world. Connect with Dana on LinkedIn to learn more about our pipeline experience.

Photo Credit: Roger Smith via Compfight cc

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