The Dawning of the Age of Gas

If the 19th century was the dawn of the Age of Coal and the 20th century was the Age of Oil, the 21st century seems to be well on the way to being the Age of Gas.

Gas shales are being found all over the globe. The US has reserves of 860 trillion cubic feet of shale gas. In many countries gas-bearing shales have not yet been fully explored but known reserves include; in China (1,275tn cubic feet), Argentina (774tn), Mexico (681tn) South Africa (485tn), Canada (388tn), Libya (290tn), Algeria (231tn),  Brazil (226tn), UK (200tn), Poland (187tn) and France (180tn). Exploration is still under-way in Russia, central Asia, India, the Middle East, south- east Asia and central Africa. New finds of Natural gas are being discovered off the coast of East Africa. Exploration is now extending to deposits of  methane hydrates in the deep sea (>500m) and under permafrost. For electricity generation and large scale heating (district heating) gas is likely to be the preferred alternative. By 2030, gas will probably overtake coal and oil as an energy source. Compressed gas for transport is already in use. Wind and solar energy will not be insignificant but will remain expensive and just a minor contributor. Even where the renewables are used for political ends, gas will have to provide the necessary back-up.

The IEA called it in their special report: Are we entering a golden age of gas.

Reuters reports that new finds are converting East Africa into a gas hub: Statoil find adds to East Africa gas hopes

Martin Wolf writes in the Financial Times: Prepare for a Golden Age of Natural Gas

… the EIA notes that “the advent of large-scale shale gas production did not occur until Mitchell Energy and Development Corporation experimented during the 1980s and 1990s to make deep shale gas production a commercial reality in the Barnett Shale in North-Central Texas.” But, by now, it adds, “[t]he development of shale gas has become a ‘game changer’ for the US natural gas market.”

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One Response to “The Dawning of the Age of Gas”

  1. The Age of Gas: China has enough shale gas for 200 years « The k2p blog Says:

    […] Age of Gas is not just dawning  but is well and truly underway with China revealing reserves sufficient for […]

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