Posts Tagged ‘Age of Gas’

Total to enter fracking in the UK

January 12, 2014

The shale boom (gas and oil) in the US has changed the energy landscape not only in the US but also in the export of cheap oil and now even coal from the US.

us petroleum production boom

us petroleum production boom

But so far only the US has seen significant production of gas and oil from shale. In Europe the Green lobby is desperately trying to stop the advent of fracking even though their misguided policies  have – so far – only led to an increased use of coal and an increased price of electricity to the consumer. But the UK, Poland and other countries have huge reserves of shale and the exploitation of these reserves is both necessary and inevitable. Russia, China, South America and India also have shale reserves which will – in time – be recovered. Russia is going slow with fracking because they have large amounts of natural gas to be sold first to recover the investment in their gas pipelines to Western Europe. China is forging steadily ahead and will soon produce shale gas in earnest. India has not even finished mapping its reserves. Both China and India have some technology transfer to be achieved. Japan is spending real development money to be able eventually to use under-sea methane hydrates since they have no shale.

Fox Business: Russia is estimated to have the largest shale oil reserves of 75 billion barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration. The U.S. is No. 2 with 58 billion barrels, followed at a distance by China, Argentina and Libya.

China is believed to have 1,115 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale gas. The EIA estimates that Argentina has 802 trillion cubic feet, while the U.S. is fourth at 665 trillion. Algeria likely has the third-largest shale gas reserves.

While the U.S. energy industry has roared ahead, shale reserves overseas face several development hurdles such as a lack of drilling resources, land ownership issues and government regulations.

In Europe, the UK will probably lead the way – even though the “politically correct” opposition in Europe will continue to live in their dream worlds. The French oil majors – stopped in their own country by Francois Hollande – are moving in.

BBCFrench oil and gas company Total is to invest in the UK’s shale gas industry, it is to be announced on Monday. Total will be the first of the so-called “oil majors” to invest in shale gas in the UK, the BBC has confirmed. The British Geological Survey estimates there may be 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas present in the north of England.

…. Total is to spend tens of millions of pounds buying substantial stakes in firms with drilling licences in the north of England, where other large energy firms such as Centrica and Gaz de France have already invested.

It comes as the government is expected to introduce more incentives to encourage local authorities to allow drilling for shale gas …… Under the measures, local authorities would keep all income from business rates paid by companies drilling for shale gas, instead of giving it to the UK treasury.

In December, a report commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), said more than half of the UK could be suitable for fracking.

In his analysis, Joe Lynam writes:

That Total is now getting involved in the UK shale gas industry is not insignificant. The oil majors (BP, Shell, Total, Exxon, and Chevron) waited in the wings for five years in the US while smaller exploration companies drilled for shale gas.

When it became clear there were major commercial flows in America, then the majors piled in. Now it looks like the majors are getting interested in Britain at a very early stage – thanks in no small part to the confident reserve estimates from the British Geological Survey and the open arms of the UK government. The large energy players bring deep pockets and serious expertise with them and will be able to extract, sell and distribute any found gas quicker than smaller companies.

The advantage for the consumer could also be mouth watering – US energy costs are now a third of those in Europe. If Britain can extract 10% of the estimated reserves it could supply the entire country for almost 50 years.

UK Shale Regions

UK Shale Regions

Related Posts.

Political correctness shifts away from wind in the UK

June 21, 2012

I have a theory that political correctness is transient and driven by electoral advantage. But common sense – over time – provides the restoring force.

The move away from wind power euphoria is becoming all more evident in the UK. It is a shift that is inevitable since – eventually – common sense does prevail. And as with all such shifts of political correctness it is accompanied (or is it caused) by a change which appears to provide some electoral advantage for somebody. Causes which once provided electoral advantage to the Greens across Europe – because they were seen (partly) as being the “minority” view being suppressed by the establishment – are now themselves part of the establishment view across most parties. But these views are now perceived as being suppressive and coercive and the backlash is beginning to move us back towards common sense.

No doubt the coming Age of Gas will be supported by all the political parties as reduced energy costs provide electoral advantage. And being cynical, it will also – just like wind power – be exploited to excess, to the point where it becomes coercive and suppressive of other alternatives and then political correctness will shift again.

Benedict Brogan writes in The Telegraph:

A government re-think on costly green energy resources is a winning statement of intent. .. 

(more…)

The Age of Gas: China has enough shale gas for 200 years

March 2, 2012

The Age of Gas is not just dawning  but is well and truly underway with China revealing reserves sufficient for 200 years. At 25 trillion cubic meters (875 trillion cubic feet) of recoverable reserves these could be almost twice the recoverable reserves in the US.

As shale gas comes into play all over the globe there is going to be a run on large gas turbines for power generation. Gas turbine manufacturers (and the big 4 are GE, Siemens, Alstom and MHI) can expect a sellers market within 2 or 3 years as the economic recovery pressurises generation capacity.

File:GasDepositDiagram.jpg

from Wikipedia

The Telegraph: 

China is planning an investment blitz to unlock its vast reserves of shale gas, convinced it can match the energy revolution under way in the US and meet a significant part of its fast-growing fuel needs.

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The Dawning of the Age of Gas

February 22, 2012

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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