United States Gas Deregulation

The North American gas markets are partially deregulated the situation in the US varying from state to state and in Canada from province to province.
The natural gas producers are price deregulated. In 1989, the Natural Gas Wellhead Decontrol Act required the removal of all price controls on wellhead sales by 1993, allowing natural gas prices to be freely set in the market. Over 500 companies are classified as power marketers and have filed rate tariffs with the FERC to sell wholesale power in the United States.
The gas transmission pipelines provide open access. FERC Order 636 resulted in a major restructuring of interstate pipeline operations, most notably the separation of sales from transportation services (unbundling), so that customers can select supply and transportation services from any competitor in any quantity and combination.
The crisis in California’s deregulated electricity market has slowed the move toward increased competition in retail natural gas markets and some States have chosen not to expand pilot programmes or have deferred legislative action, but 20 States and the District of Columbia have programmes underway that allow residential consumers and other small-volume gas users to purchase natural gas from someone other than their traditional utility company.
The availability, characteristics, and participation rates of these customer choice programmes vary widely across states.
Proven natural gas reserves increased considerably since the turn of the century, due in part to shale gas discoveries. Total reserves were reported as 7.7 tcm (273 tcf) in 2010, which are estimated to last another twelve and a half years.
Over the past five years production of natural gas has increased to 611 bcm in 2010, which still does not meet domestic demand of 683 bcm. Imports of natural gas via pipeline from Canada meet the bulk of demand. Some natural gas is imported as LNG to meet import demand.