Demand for onshore pipelines is expected to increase in the U.S., which will produce a positive outlook for the North American oil & gas industry, according to a report by Tata Steel.

The study, produced by Tata Steel’s energy and power division, points to a rise in environmental concerns shifting energy demand towards natural gas, as well as the continued growth in shale, as the main drivers for increased investment in production and transport infrastructure.

The reduction in the price of natural gas combined with improved drilling technology will continue to maintain high oil production, resulting in further demand for pipelines, the report says.

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“U.S. shale has been a game changer for the entire North American industry, potentially putting the U.S. in a position to export energy for the first time,” said Richard Broughton, Tata Steel’s commercial manager for energy pipelines. “However, there is still a massive need for investment in infrastructure, particularly in production and transportation if this potential is to be realized.”

Overall the report paints a positive outlook for the North American oil and gas industry, with the findings suggesting that while a slow economy has had an effect on production activity in recent years, the increased investment in large-scale projects is now pointing the market towards an upturn.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tata Steel is a supplier pipeline products to the oil & gas industry.