IN DEMAND: Natural gas subject of Troy Rotary program
Published 4:00 am Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Good news is always welcomed, and Greg Henderson, Southeast Alabama Gas District director of finance, had good news for all customers of the district. Natural gas prices should remain low for five to 10 years.
Not many utility companies can make that kind of prediction, but Henderson seemed comfortable in that assumption when speaking before the Troy Rotary Club Tuesday.
However, Henderson did say that he is looking into a crystal ball and it could cloud tomorrow.
Henderson, a member of the Andalusia Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow, said Southeast Alabama Gas District began selling natural gas in 1952. The company is owned by 14 member cities and serves 21 other franchise cities.
“Southeast Alabama Gas District is a public utility and is owned by the citizens,” Henderson said. “The customers are the bosses. So, we give money back to the towns that own us.”
Henderson said the City of Troy is the district’s second largest consumer, behind only the City of Dothan in usage.
“Troy is growing and, as the city grows, so does its usage of natural gas,” Henderson said.
SEAG has 30,000 customers within 12,000 square miles, which is the largest geographic region in the state for gas companies.
“The Southeast Alabama Gas District sells primarily to industrial companies,” Anderson said. “Eighty-percent of our customers are industrial.”
Most of the natural gas companies were formed in an effort to bring industries to the Southeast but also supply natural gas to residential customers at an affordable rate.
The reason natural gas is and should remain relatively low in cost is because the supply is abundant.
“In 2010, we expected to import four billion cubic feet of natural gas,” Henderson said. “Five years later, we expect to export 10 billion cubic feet by 2020.”
Production of natural gas has increased by 13 percent since 2011 and is projected to increase about 22 percent in the Southeast between 2014 and 2020, based on an increase in chemical production.
On other topics, Henderson complimented the City of Troy for its dedication to providing outstanding medical facilities for its citizens.
He said a hospital is vital to the city and also brings small business to town via practicing physicians.
“Every doctor who locates in a town is the equivalent of a small business,” he said. “The doctor hires a staff and his office is a small business. Those small businesses add up.”
Always the Rotarian, Henderson said he waited two years for a slot to open so he could join the Rotary Club. He praised the Rotarians for their service to community.
“The Rotary Club’s 4-Way Test is a model for all of us to live by,” he said.