Panama Canal Expansion Could Boost Texas’ Export of Natural Gas

By Phillip Yu

A $5.2 billion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal is geared for completion in 2015. Already, studies have shown that this expansion can potentially provide a tremendous boost for natural gas producers in the Barnett Shale, a geological formation that acts as a large onshore natural gas field in Texas. The expansion of the Panama Canal will enable much larger ships to transport natural gas to China, Japan and other parts of Asia, where demand for natural gas is high but local supply is scarce. A 2011 study projected that the canal expansion will allow Texas to export an additional 15 million tons of cargo to the Pacific.

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