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Has Natural Gas Overtaken Diesel Yet?

Back in 2012, natural gas engine manufacturers like Caterpillar began talking about natural gas and its position to overtake diesel as the fuel of choice for a lot of power generator sets and engines.

Diesel proponents didn’t take them seriously then. There was a lot of should-shrugging and down-playing—whether it was genuinely not considered a threat, or whether it was only secretly considered a threat, we may never know.

But that was then, this is now. How is that prediction standing up?

Not too shabby, it would seem.

Prices for CNG in the US – which reflects the greater global fuel market – remain low and more stable than diesel prices, how will these trends affect generator markets?

Additionally, gas prices will very likely stay low due to unprecedented warm weather all over the world and no pressure on supply. This has added to the pressure on crude oil prices, trading near a seven-year low.

Meanwhile, machine manufacturers and machine users are still talking about Natural Gas as the way of the future instead of the way of the present. Why is that, one wonders?

However, something else is going on that nobody predicted: a major gas leak in California. Southern California Gas in Los Angeles is currently having a crisis that may disrupt predictions due not only to the enormity of this leak – having poured out over 73,000 metric tons of methane since October 23 from a leaky storage well, and not expected to be capped until March – but to the light it sheds on the aging, brittle infrastructure of the natural gas industry.

It’ll be interesting to see where this all leads in 2016.

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