Report Looks at North American Midstream Infrastructure Needs Through 2035

Midstream infrastructure development has increased substantially over the past five years. How long will the trend continue to climb?
Report Looks at North American Midstream Infrastructure Needs Through 2035 - News


Penn State J Craig Williams

North America has seen oil and natural gas production soar as advances in science and technology and new geological assessments occur. Strong pipeline activity has been occurring, but how much more is needed to keep up with the supply and demand? The Interstate Natural Gas Association of American (INGAA) Foundation retained ICF to help forecast the amount of midstream infrastructure development needed in the near future. The study considered infrastructure investments for surface and lease equipment; gathering and processing facilities; oil, gas, and NGL pipelines; oil and gas storage facilities; refineries and oil products pipelines; and export terminals.

Key findings of the study were:

  • Infrastructure investment, while projected to peak in 2019, will remain strong through 2035 due to continued shale development, strong market demand and relatively low pricing due to the new oil and gas supplies.
  • New midstream infrastructure capital expenditures (CAPEX) will average $791 billion over the next 17 years, for an average of $44 billion/year.
  • For oil, gas and NGL transport, an additional 41,000 miles of pipeline and 7 million horsepower (HP) of compression and pumping are anticipated through 2035.
  • To support gathering, processing and storage of oil, gas, and NGLs, an additional 139,000 miles of gathering lines and 10 million HP are required.
  • $1.3 trillion to U.S. and Canadian Gross Domestic Products, or approximately $70 billion annually is anticipated to be invested in infrastructure through 2035.
  • Significant employment opportunities are created not only within states where infrastructure development occurs but across all states because of indirect and induced labor impacts to the tune of approximately 725,000 workers.
  • The infrastructure development is dependent on regulatory approvals of the projects as to the costs for pipeline construction. Two scenarios are used; a constant unit cost and an escalating unit cost.

“While we now are in the midst of a remarkable expansion of the pipeline network, this report confirms that there will remain a need for new pipeline infrastructure. Continued production growth, combined with growing consumption – particularly for natural gas – will drive the need for expanded pipeline capacity to supply energy consumers in both domestic and export markets," said INGAA Foundation President Don Santa.

The complete report, North American Midstream Infrastructure through 2035: Significant Development Continues, can be found on the INGAA website.