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Philly’s Chance to be ‘Silicon Valley of Energy’

Leon Walker

phillyPhiladelphia’s planned sale of public gas delivery utility Philadelphia Gas Works could help the city become “the Silicon Valley of energy,” according to Forbes.

The gas works’ sale could turn the City of Brotherly Love into an energy jobs capital, but only if the sale is handled correctly, according to Forbes contributor Michael Krancer.

Due to an increase in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, Pennsylvannia’s natural gas production increased by a factor of eight between 2009 and 2012, according to an Institute of Energy Research report released last week. Pennsylvania is now the nation’s third largest natural gas producer after Texas and Louisiana.

Krancer believes the sale of PGW could link Philly to the energy boom taking place to its north and west and allow the the city to leverage its transportation infrastructure and ports to become a major natural gas supplier to the rest of the country. The resulting numbers of jobs rooted in Philly would be a boon for the local economy.

Krancer has urged the city to bear in mind some points when considering bids:

1. Look past the up-front price to the long-term deal the bid offers the city

2. Consider local investors with a stake in Philadelphia

3. Pick a buyer without a job slashing plan

4. Choose a buyer who understands Philly’s potential to fit into the wider Pennsylvania energy boom

US domestic natural gas production in the lower 48 states averaged 65.0 billion cubic feet per day in January 2014, according to the latest estimates from Bentek Energy, the oil and natural gas analytic unit of Platts. This is down 1.1 percent from December 2013, but it is up 3.2 percent year-on-year.

Picture credit: Philadelphia skyline in black and white via Shutterstock



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