America’s aging infrastructure problem is nothing new, but it may be worse than you thought. The good news is that repairing it could boost infrastructure exchange traded funds (ETFs).
For a view of just how poor U.S. infrastructure is, try this tidbit on for size: there are more 3,000 operational oil and gas production platforms off the Gulf Coast, and a third of them were built in the ’70s or earlier. Some even date back to the ’40s, according to The Infrastructurist. The Gulf’s energy infrastructure accounts for almost a third of all U.S. oil production and more than 10% of natural gas. [Behind Natural Resource ETF’s Hot Performance.]
The Gulf is riddled with aging fixed wells and undersea pipes, reports Ben Casselman for The Wall Street Journal. Offshore lines usually have lower inspection standards and are usually not designed to withstand internal inspection equipment that looks for corrosion.
It isn’t just the Gulf, though. All over the United States, structures and systems are slowly crumbling as the average age of government and residential buildings creeps up toward 30 years. Our smart grid is famously decrepit, too.
The fact is, there’s a need here and an opportunity, and in infrastructure ETFs, there’s plenty of room to grow. SPDR FTSE/Macquarie Global Infrastructure 100 (NYSEArca: GII) gives 40% of its weight to the United States; iShares S&P Global Infrastructure (NYSEArca: IGF) has a 24% weight in the United States.
For more information on the oil industry, visit our oil & gas exploration category.
Max Chen contributed to this article.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.