EQT says greed not a factor in commodity price surge
US energy company EQT said December 7 it disagreed with the position of a leading US senator that oil and gas companies were tacitly supporting higher commodity prices.
US senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat representing Massachusetts, sent a letter to 11 different oil and gas companies last month demanding answers on the steady rise in commodity prices.
“I am writing regarding my concern about rising natural gas prices for American consumers, the impact this will have for families struggling to pay their bills and keep their homes warm this winter, and the extent to which these price increases are being driven by energy companies’ corporate greed and profiteering as they ‘moved record amounts of US gas out of the country,” she wrote.
The US Energy Information Administration said it expects the US will be the world leader in exports of LNG. But domestic production is also on the rise. Meanwhile, the price for Henry Hub, the US benchmark for the price of natural gas, is down some 24% since Warren wrote her letter.
EQT CEO Toby Rice said he disagrees with the notion that commodity prices are related directly to corporate finances.
“Yes, the price of natural gas has increased rapidly relative to 2020 as the economic engines of the world have reignited, but natural gas prices in 2020 were the lowest in over two decades, a year during which we exported LNG,” he said.
Investors and shareholders, meanwhile, are pressing for more work toward the energy transition. Saudi Arabia, the de-facto leader of OPEC, has said the capital flow toward low-carbon options is to blame for higher commodity prices as investors move away from fossil fuels.
Rice added that, from his perspective, natural gas has an integral role to play in the energy transition. LNG can replace coal in some markets and has proved itself a viable opportunity in the effort to address the threat from climate change, he said.
“That's the prize—reducing emission levels at a pace we've never seen, while simultaneously providing the world with cheap, reliable and clean energy,” he said.