In a recent entry on the blog Exxon Perspectives, the huge producer presents a number of reasons why relying on compressed natural gas as a transportation fuel might be misplaced, at least for the near future. Among the obstacles:

  • Vehicle costs are high
  • Infrastructure is nonexistent and costs will be high
  •  CNG has lower energy density than gasoline and therefore less efficient

ExxonMobil’s answer:

  • Wait for LNG to develop. It is a better vehicle fuel
  • Let the market, not the government, decide
  • Use CNG to fuel fleets, but not your car or mine

To get a fuller perspective, read the comments posted after the entry, where the Exxon viewpoint is either “so biased it’s pathetic”, “misleading”, or worse. The commentors argue with Exxon, then they argue with each other.  Dislike for “Big Oil” is palpable. 

Pro-CNG web sites and are mentioned.  The latter appears to be sponsored by natural gas producers.  Query: Why would ExxonMobil (the biggest natural gas producer in the continental US?) be against CNG vehicles if there weren’t good economic reasons to be against it?  Maybe theyare right. 

In encourging news for natural gas producers, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved construction of Cheniere Energy Inc.’s $4.5 Billion LNG export facility at its existing import terminal in Hackberry, Cameron Parish, Louisiana.   Also, Sempra Energy, Inc. will invest $6 Billion in an LNG export facility at Lake Charles.  Sempra has an import terminal at the same location.  Quite a turnaround in the natural gas markets, and boon for employment in southwestern Louisiana.

And there is even more to look forward to regarding federal regulation of domestic oil and gas exploration: