Posts Tagged ‘Shale gas’

Parsing Obama’s SOTU on climate matters: A paean to shale gas

January 29, 2014

Obama’s SOTU address will be spun in many different ways but I felt it was a remarkable paean to gas. Climate change is undeniable but he took care not to call it global warming. Not a lot of alarmism as he praised the effects of using gas. He avoided mentioning the words “fracking” or “shale”. It was all “natural” gas. He tried to give some credit to solar energy but only as an afterthought. Besides, his implication was that gas is not really a fossil fuel!

The entire section is just GAS! Gas! Gas! 

Extracts from Obama’s speech in blue. My comments in red.

“Now, one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy.  The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today, America is closer to energy independence than we’ve been in decades.

Yes. Entirely due to fracking and shale gas and shale oil. The effect of renewables has been negligible.

One of the reasons why is natural gas – if extracted safely, it’s the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change.  Businesses plan to invest almost $100 billion in new factories that use natural gas.  I’ll cut red tape to help states get those factories built, and this Congress can help by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to American natural gas.  My administration will keep working with the industry to sustain production and job growth while strengthening protection of our air, our water, and our communities.  

A tribute to shale fracking – without saying so.

And while we’re at it, I’ll use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations.

Except if there is shale gas to be found.

It’s not just oil and natural gas production that’s booming; we’re becoming a global leader in solar, too.  Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar; every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can’t be outsourced. 

Really! Pounding a solar panel into place!!!!! And not one of those homes gives up its connection to the grid.

Let’s continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don’t need it, so that we can invest more in fuels of the future that do.

Like shale gas – which as we all know – cannot be called fossil energy.

And even as we’ve increased energy production, we’ve partnered with businesses, builders, and local communities to reduce the energy we consume.  When we rescued our automakers, for example, we worked with them to set higher fuel efficiency standards for our cars.  In the coming months, I’ll build on that success by setting new standards for our trucks, so we can keep driving down oil imports and what we pay at the pump.

And while he was speaking it was 17°F with light snow in Washington and fossil fuels were heating the city.

Taken together, our energy policy is creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet.  Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth. 

True and entirely due to the use of gas.

But we have to act with more urgency – because a changing climate is already harming western communities struggling with drought, and coastal cities dealing with floods. 

Forget that we had less storms in 2013 than ever before. And Califiornia’s drought is due to climate change. Schwarzenegger said so and he should know.

That’s why I directed my administration to work with states, utilities, and others to set new standards on the amount of carbon pollution our power plants are allowed to dump into the air. 

The EPA will be my palace police. And of course if we reduce carbon (dioxide) emissions all droughts and storms and ice melting will miraculously cease!!

The shift to a cleaner energy economy won’t happen overnight, and it will require tough choices along the way.  But the debate is settled.  Climate change is a fact. 

Oh my!. Climate change is settled – ( He never said it was global warming)!

And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did.”

Meaningless rhetoric. Just how his children’s children will get to look him in the eye is a little unclear. When was the last time you looked into the eyes of a grandparent and blamed them or praised them for the state of the world?

The EU’s green sickness: Competitiveness and shale gas at Davos

January 28, 2014

It is my contention that the spread of perverse “Green” energy policies in Europe are partly responsible if not for the financial crisis itself, certainly for its prolongation and for slowing down the recovery. It is also my contention that it is the deadening and oppresive inertia that is represented by the “obese” and self-preserving nature of the EU bureaucracy in Brussels which has prevented individual countries in Europe from taking fast corrective actions when needed.

It is now energy costs for industry (and not just labour policies) which is increasing the competitiveness divide between Europe and the US. It seems that this competitiveness – or lack of it – was of some passing interest at Davos:

CNBC

One of the biggest themes at Davos this year — and one that was not there last year — was “competitiveness.” You encountered it whether in the public sessions in the Congress Center, or in the private sessions, and at the various dinners in the hotels strung along the Davos Platz.

This particular rivalry pits the United States head-on against Europe. And, no question — at Davos this year, the United States was judged the clear winner, much to the dispirit of the Europeans trudging back along the icy, snowy streets of this mountain village.

Of course, competitiveness among nations gets measured in many different ways. …… But this year at Davos, it was calibrated along only one axis — energy. And that measure is creating great angst for European industry. …… It all comes down to shale gas and the energy revolution it has triggered in the United States. As a result of the rapid advance of shale technology, the United States now has an abundance of low-cost natural gas — at one-third the price of European gas. European industrial electricity prices are twice as high as those in some countries and are much higher than those in the United States. To a significant degree, this is the result of a pell-mell push toward high-cost renewable electricity (wind and solar), which is imposing heavy costs on consumers and generating large fiscal burdens for governments. In Germany, it was further accentuated by the premature shutdown of its existing nuclear industry after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan. 

All this puts European industrial production at a heavy cost disadvantage against the United States. The result is a migration of industrial investment from Europe to the United States — what one CEO called an “exodus.” It involves, not only energy-intensive industries like chemicals and metals, but also companies in the supply chains that support such industries. …….. a senior European official declared that Europe needs to wake up to the “strategic reality” that shale gas in the United States is a “total game changer.” Without a change in policies at both the European and national levels, he warned, Europe “will lose our energy intensive industries — and we will lose our economy long term.” ……..

And the first signs of a potential change of policy abruptly emerged in both Brussels and Berlin during Davos week. European policy makers, struggling with already high unemployment, have begun to visualize the further job loss that will result from shutting down European plants. They have also started to pay attention to the 2.1 million jobs in in the United States supported by the unconventional oil and gas revolution.

In Brussels, coinciding with the first day of Davos, the European Commission released a new policy paper on energy and climate. It reiterated the commitment to substantial growth in renewable electricity and a “low-carbon economy.” But, for the first time, it put heavy emphasis on the price of such policies and called for a “more cost-efficient approach” to renewables. ….. Despite the fervent opposition to shale gas in some quarters in Europe, it pointedly included shale gas as among the domestic low-carbon energy sources that member countries can pursue.

……… A similar message resounded at exactly the same time from Berlin. Sigmar Gabriel, the social democratic minister of economy and energy in Germany’s coalition government, called for reform in Germany’s Energiewende — or “energy turn” policy — which has heavily subsidized the rapid growth in renewable electricity. He warned that the “anarchy” in renewable energy and its costs in Germany had to be reined in. ……… Up until now, the Energiewende in its present form has been sacrosanct, supported not just by the Greens but all across the political spectrum. Gabriel — and Chancellor Angela Merkel — aim to maintain the commitment, but reduce subsidies, focus more on costs, and, as Gabriel said, “control the expansion of renewable energy.”

His comments reflect the recognition that, if the course remains unchanged, Germany could be facing what Gabriel called “a dramatic deindustrialization.” ………. Exports are responsible for over 50 percent of German GDP, compared to 27 percent for China, which is generally considered to be the workshop of the world.

Gabriel’s comments stirred up criticism from environmentalists; indeed, they may seem strange words coming from the leader of the Social Democrats (the SPD). But the Social Democrats are very close to the trade unions, for which loss of competitiveness translates into loss of jobs.

In 2 decades of green profligacy, I estimate the “jobs lost” by the ” growth prevented” to be around 17 million just within the EU.

EU opposition to shale fracking is crumbling

January 27, 2014

The cost of gas in Europe (from the North Sea or from Russia) is about 3 times higher than in the US (from natural gas onshore and offshore and from the fracking of shale). The high gas price in Germany has led to a return to coal in a big way. Yet Europe has substantial reserves of shale which could give both oil and gas. Gas and energy prices are leading to the EU now increasingly trailing the US in competivity. Jobs are being lost. And it is the instant, knee-jerk reactions of the Greens in Europe, who have set themselves against fracking, which has slowed the deployment of shale gas. This mindless opposition is unsustainable and is beginning to crumble.

The UK has already declared its intentions to now pursue fracking in a big way. Other countries will have no option but to follow suit. The moratoriums against fracking in a number of countries (France, Germany …) will have to be withdrawn. Even Russia – which has a vested interest in keeping the price of natural gas high – is beginning to move on fracking of their vast reserves.

Europe has to frack. But politicians need a “decent”, politically viable interval to make their inevitable U-turns and give up their unsustainable positions. Fracking is becoming politically acceptable if not yet politically correct.

OilPrice

EU Readies for Shale Gas Breakthrough

  • Ukrainian company Nadra Ukrayny, along with co-sponsor International Gas Union, hosts a summit May 20-22 to discuss maximizing the benefits of shale exploration in the European community. Organizers say the event will have a pan-European focus, with strategy sessions focused on the shale potential from Eastern Europe to Great Britain.
  • Polish shale ambitions, meanwhile, were stymied in part by a decision from Italian energy company Eni to pull out of the country, the third company to do so since 2012. Eni said the geology was too complex to exploit now, leaving behind an estimated 187 trillion cubic feet of shale gas reserves. That too should pique future interest once technology evolves. Chevron remains one of the few players still in the Polish shale.
  • Rainer Seele, chairman of German energy company Wintershall, told delegates at a Berlin energy conference it was time for an honest debate about shale exploration. Late last year, German leaders agreed to keep a moratorium in place on hydraulic fracturing. Several European states have expressed reservations about the controversial drilling practice dubbed fracking. For Seele, it’s time for “an informed debate and legal clarity” because now, he said, the conversation is at a standstill. In 2012, a report found there may be as much as 100 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable gas locked on German shale.
  • Spain too entered the fray last week when the central government filed a challenge against a decision to ban fracking in Cantabria, a region near the coast of the Bay of Biscay.  Regional leaders voted unanimously to ban fracking out of environmental concerns last year, but with Spain importing more than 70 percent of its natural gas needs, the 70 years’ worth of gas in Cantabria is too rich to ignore.
  • France and Bulgaria are among other European states with fracking bans in place. Last week, the European Commission embraced a series of recommendations meant to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place for members that choose to go ahead with shale exploration. The EU said the recommendations were part of a policy framework meant to guide regional energy policy through 2030. EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said shale gas is “raising hopes” in Europe. With energy companies clamoring to get in line, Europe may be on the cusp of a shale breakthrough.

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.

Shale gas potential delays new natural gas pieline under the Baltic

November 19, 2013

It will be slower than in the US, but shale gas will also be a game changer in Europe. Even though Russia has huge reserves of shale gas and shale oil, they would also prefer that the transition to shale gas should not go too fast. They have so much invested in the Natural Gas infrastructure that they need to keep the sales of natural gas going to ensure a return. Gazprom has the enviable dilemma of protecting an existing revenue stream by preventing the too rapid establishment of another revenue stream. One problem for Gazprom of course is that shale gas is much more widespread across Europe and their virtual monopoly with Siberian natural gas will be threatened.

In any case the energy scene is changing fast and the planned investment in additional gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany have been delayed by Nord Stream.

Swedish Radio News: The gas pipeline consortium Nord Stream are delaying their plans for one or two more pipelines under the Baltic Sea. According to Nord Stream’s adviser, Lars Grönstedt, the shareholders want further analyses of the rapidly changing energy market. 

The USA has quickly become almost self-sufficient in energy because of its own shale gas , and it has led to Europe buying more cheap coal than before. “I can not comment directly on the shareholders’ deliberations. But I can guess that since gas has changed to such an extent just the last twelve months , it needs some deeper analysis” says Lars Grönstedt. 

Nord Stream pipeline image http://russia-media.ru/

Nord Stream’s current pipeline has two channels extending from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald in Germany under the Baltic Sea to deliver Russian natural gas to Europe.  

Nord Stream had planned to add one or two further gas pipes and held public information meetings last spring –  including on Gotland. It is a project that is expected to cost about $9 billion, and in Sweden alone could create some two hundred jobs during construction. 

Nord Stream’s shareholders, five European energy companies , including Russia’s Gazprom , have postponed these plans. The changes in the energy market as Lars Grönstedt mention, are due in part to America’s increased shale gas . 

I suspect that Gazprom’s best way of maximising revenues is by holding up current natural gas prices but not so high that the development of shale gas is accelerated and not so high that gas users shift to coal (as the large utilities are doing in Germany). A delicate calculation and which would require a slow development of their gas distribution pipelines.

But for the private consumers, the lowest cost would be if shale gas development was speeded up.

 

UK shale gas deposits could be 10 times greater than thought

June 27, 2013

Reality bites!

The rush to fracking and shale gas goes on. There is no country which is not going to exploit the potential of much cheaper electricity generation and subsequent growth and job creation (and note that even Obama’s nonsense attack on carbon dioxide to placate the global warming fanatics takes great care to avoid any attack on shale gas). Shale gas recovery – unlike some other technologies – will not need any subsidies.

Now the British Geological Survey has reported that the UK shale gas deposits are huge and much, much larger than originally thought and “peak gas” has disappeared over the horizon.

BBC: 

UK shale gas resources may be far greater than previously thought, a report for the government says.

The British Geological Survey was asked to estimate how much gas is trapped in rocks beneath Lancashire and Yorkshire.

It said there could be 1,300 trillion cubic feet at one site alone, but it is unclear how much could be extracted.

Ministers are set to announce financial benefits for communities where fracking – the controversial extraction technique – takes place.

BBC industry correspondent John Moylan says the government is also likely to announce plans for tax incentives to encourage investment in shale gas, and a streamlining of the process to award drilling permits.

He describes the BGS survey as potentially a “landmark” moment.

The exploitation of shale gas and oil revolutionised the energy industry in the US, although there are questions over whether the same thing can be repeated in the UK. … 

Reality bites as EU politicians slowly back away from costly energy policy

May 7, 2013

Reuters reports that EU politicians are to meet at a summit to reassess energy policy in the post-fracking world  (and  – but this is not to be admitted under pain of being shunned – a post-global-warming reality). I just note that politicians will be the most adept at changing direction aand taking credit for moving away from global warming orthodoxy. Many scientists will find their own exit strategies but many will find it difficult to find the rationale to move away from what has become their religion and their livelihood. The least adept at embracing the new reality will the “climate bureaucrats” whose comfortable existence depends upon the global warming religion continuing in force. And all those who have milked the EU subsidy regime for all its worth will not be pleased but they will just move on to the next scam.

(Reuters) EU heads of state and government will seek ways to limit the impact of energy costs on European competitiveness at a summit this month, a draft document seen by Reuters showed.

European industry says it is disadvantaged because of the price it pays for energy compared with the United States, where the shale gas revolution has drastically lowered costs.

The document ahead of the May 22 EU summit, which has energy and taxation on the agenda, calls for examination of the impact of energy prices and costs and action to limit the effects.

One option is developing the European Union’s own shale gas resources, although this is not mentioned directly. Instead, the draft refers to safe and sustainable development of “indigenous sources of energy”.

Europe’s very different geography and land ownership would make it hard for the European Union to rival the United States in shale gas, but the executive European Commission is working on a framework to guide prospectors.

The leaders are expected to urge the Commission to analyze energy prices and costs in member states “with a particular focus on the EU’s competitiveness” against global rivals.

The draft also points to massive investment costs in boosting power generation and networks as likely to drive up energy prices.

Arguments over energy costs have featured prominently in political debate ahead of German elections and played a part in blocking a Commission proposal to boost carbon prices on the EU market.

The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), where carbon prices have sunk to record lows, is not on the draft agenda, but it could be debated on the sidelines of the summit, EU sources have said.

Efforts to repair that market are also a focus of attention for the European Parliament.

Argentina joins the shale gas bandwagon

April 8, 2013

The shale gas bandwagon is now truly rolling and countries all across the globe are scrambling to catch up. The wide-spread reserves mean that, more than any other energy source, shale gas has the potential of making concerns about energy security and reliance on foreign sources a thing of the past. South America also has its share of gas bearing shale. Argentina and Brazil have substantial shale deposits which the EIA estimates could give 774 and 226 trillion cubic feet of gas respectively. Even Chile and Bolivia have substantial deposits. The Argentinian deposits are only smaller than those in the US and China.

Shale Gas deposits South America SOURCE: USGS

Shale Gas deposits South America SOURCE: USGS

In April last year Argentina nationalised the YPF unit of Spanish Grupo Repsol which in turn had been acquired by Repsol on privatisation of YPF in 1999. There is a dispute ongoing between Repsol and the Argentinian government regarding the compensation for the nationalisation. One of the reasons for the nationalisation was a perceived reluctance from Repsol to invest in Argentina. While Repsol acquired YPF in 1999 for $15 billion, the nationalised assets of YPF are now valued at only around $9 billion.

OilPrice: Argentina shale gas reserves exceed its 13.4 trillion cubic feet (tcf) conventional proven gas reserves. The largest shale play is the Neuquen basin with more than 250 TCF. YPF discovered 4.5 TCF of shale gas in the Loma de la Lata Field of Neuquen in December 2010. Gas transportation and field services infrastructure are already in place making it attractive for further development. There are also additional Argentine shale deposit reserves in Chubut and Santa Cruz provinces near the Golfo San Jorge in the Atlantic southeast part of the country.  The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says Argentina’s technically recoverable shale gas reserves are the third largest in the world after the United States and China at 774 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) with more than half of that in the Neuquén Basin on the western side of the country. ….

To exploit its shale potential Argentina needs the active participation and assistance from large international oil field services companies and deep pocket investors. … Argentina’s shale resource potential is large enough to attract the biggest companies. But in the rapidly changing world of global shale development there are many places where investors can participate in the growth of shales without the risk Argentina presents. 

In any event Argentina is looking to make YPF a flagship for the country in the Oil & Gas space (with Petrobras across the border as an example to follow). And YPF will need both fracking technology and investment if they are to make something of their vast gas shale reserves in the Neuquén basin. There are a number of potential suitors from the US and even from China who may be prepared to take on the perceived country risks of Argentina, but Dow Chemical seems to be the first:

Chemical & Engineering NewsWith eyes on what could be the first shale gas project in Argentina, Dow Chemical has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Argentinian oil company YPF to develop a gas-rich area of the country.

The memorandum envisages YPF ceding Dow a 50% stake in a shale formation in Neuquén province. Dow and YPF also would explore expanding petrochemical capacity in the country on the basis of additional raw material supply. The firms are still negotiating the terms of the deal.

In the U.S., abundant shale-based feedstocks are leading to a renaissance in the petrochemical industry. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration and consulting firm Advanced Resources International, Argentina has 774 trillion cu ft of recoverable shale gas reserves, the third-largest amount after the U.S. and China. But energy companies are so far only drilling exploratory wells in Argentina.

Dow already operates an ethylene cracker and polyethylene plants in Bahia Blanca, Argentina. In 2001, the company completed $720 million in expansion projects at the site.

And Dow is involved in chemical feedstocks in the country. In Bahia Blanca, it has a 28% interest in Compañía Mega, a natural gas liquids fractionation joint venture with YPF and Brazil’s Petrobras. The venture takes in natural gas liquids from Neuquén and supplies the ethane to Dow to feed its ethylene cracker.

The U.S. firm has been keen to expand its polyethylene business in the region but has been stymied by feedstock supply. Dow recently delayed a plant in Brazil that would get its ethylene from sugarcane-derived ethanol.

Fire Ice (methane hydrate) success in Japan gets India all excited

March 17, 2013

I get the impression that not only the oil and gas industry but also countries with limited energy resources have not been this energised about prospects for energy independence for a long time ( and perhaps not since the discovery of North Sea Gas). First came Shale gas and then Shale oil and now Fire Ice is catching the imagination. The sheer abundance of methane hydrates around the globe and the thought that much of this gas could soon be economically extractable is almost intoxicating for those involved.

“The worldwide amounts of carbon bound in gas hydrates is conservatively estimated to total twice the amount of carbon to be found in all known fossil fuels on Earth”.

I posted recently about the successful flow test for extracting gas from deep sea methane hydrate conducted in Japan. Of course commercialisation of this technology is still many years away (though Japan hopes this could be as early as 2016). Deposits of methane hydrate are known to be extensive and generally exist either under permafrost or under the sea. The deep sea deposits were laid down under conditions of high pressure (deep sea conditions). India is known to have substantial deposits and this is now getting some people very excited:

Types of methane hydrates deposits

Economic Times:

Estimates of global reserves are sketchy, but range from 2,800 trillion to 8 billion trillion cu.metres of natural gas. This is several times higher than global reserves of 440 trillion cu. metres of conventional gas. However, only a small fraction of hydrate reserves will be exploitable.

Methane hydrate is a mixture of natural gas and water that becomes a solid in cold, high-pressure conditions in deep sea-beds (where the temperature falls to 2 degrees centigrade). It is also found in onshore deposits in the permafrost of northern Canada and Russia. Heating the deposits or lowering the pressure (the technique used by JOGMEC) will release gas from the solid. One litre of solid hydrate releases around 165 litres of gas.

India has long been known to have massive deposits of methane hydrate. These are tentatively estimated at 1,890 trillion cu.m. An Indo-US scientific joint venture in 2006 explored four areas: the Kerala-Konkan basin, the Krishna-Godavari basin, the Mahanadi basin and the seas off the Andaman Islands. The deposits in the Krishna Godavari basin turned out to be among the richest and biggest in the world. The Andamans yielded the thickest-ever deposits 600 metres below the seabed in volcanic ash sediments. Hydrates were also found in the Mahanadi basin.

Formidable economic and environmental challenges lie ahead. Nobody has yet found an economic way of extracting gas from hydrates. Industry guesstimates suggest the initial cost may be about $30/ mmBTU, double the spot rate in Asia and nine times higher than the US domestic price. JOGMEC is optimistic that the cost can be cut with new technology and scale economies.

The Indian National Gas Hydrate Program (NGHP) Expedition was conducted together with the US Geological Service

The World’s Largest Potential Energy Resource
Released: 2/7/2008 9:21:21 AM

An international team led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, which is under the government of India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, conducted the expedition.

Highlights include:

  • gas hydrate was discovered in numerous complex geologic settings, and an unprecedented number of gas hydrate cores and scientific data were collected;
  • one of the richest marine gas hydrate accumulations ever discovered was delineated and sampled in the Krishna-Godavari Basin;
  • one of the thickest and deepest gas hydrate occurrences yet known was discovered offshore of the Andaman Islands and revealed gas hydrate-bearing volcanic ash layers as deep as 600 meters below the seafloor;
  • and for the first time, a fully developed gas hydrate system was established in the Mahanadi Basin of the Bay of Bengal.

“NGHP Expedition 01 marks a monumental step forward in the realization of gas hydrates becoming a viable energy source,” said USGS Director Mark Myers. “This partnership combines the expertise of two organizations dedicated to understanding gas hydrates, and research results provide new and exciting information about this important potential energy resource.”

Directorate General of Hydrocarbons Director General and NGHP Program Coordinator V. K. Sibal said, “The global gas hydrate resources are estimated to be huge. Although the exploration and exploitation of gas hydrates pose significant challenges, the opportunities are unlimited. The combined wisdom of the scientific community from across the world could provide the answers and solutions to many of these challenges. The Indian gas hydrate program has been fortunate in having the benefits of a truly global collaboration in the form of the first gas hydrate expedition in Indian waters. The results of the studies are not only encouraging, but also very exciting. I believe that the time to realize gas hydrate as a critical energy resource has come.”

Methane hydrate deposits around the world: Graphic Der Spiegel

 

UK has enough shale gas for a millenium

February 9, 2013

Shale gas reserve estimates keep on increasing. We have the peculiar situation where Russia and some of the large oil companies attack shale gas only because some of their existing business may be threatened. But they all also have strong positions with shale gas. But what is clear is that “peak gas” has been postponed by several hundred years and there is no energy crisis in sight.

Peak Gas will never come

The Times has seen advance copies of the British Geological Survey’s new estimates of shale gas reserves in the UK:

Britain could have enough shale gas to heat every home for 1,500 years, according to new estimates that suggest reserves are 200 times greater than experts previously believed. The British Geological Survey is understood to have increased dramatically its official estimate of the amount of shale gas to between 1,300 trillion and 1,700 trillion cubic feet, dwarfing its previous estimate of 5.3 trillion cubic feet.

According to GWPF:

According to industry sources, the revised estimates will be published by the Government next month, fuelling hopes that new “fracking” techniques to capture trapped resources will result in cheaper energy bills.

It is thought that it will be technically possible to recover up to a fifth of this gas, making Britain’s shale rocks potentially as bountiful as those in the US. Experts stressed that it was still much too early to say how much of the gas it would be economic to get out of the ground to heat homes and help to generate electricity. 

In an interview with The Times today, Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, tries to downplay hopes of a shale gas glut in the UK pushing down household heating bills, which are at record highs. “It is not the golden goose. The experts are clear that they do not expect this to have a major impact on the gas price.”

The UK Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG), which also represents other onshore oil and gas producers, is aiming to win over public opinion about the shale gas industry, in particular by countering claims that the process of fracking poses an environmental menace.

The shale gas industry is gearing up for a year of intense activity after the Government lifted an 18-month moratorium on fracking in December. The ban was imposed in May 2011 after Cuadrilla Resources, the explorer backed by Lord Browne of Madingley, the former chief executive of BP, set off dozens of earth tremors when it began fracking on sites near Blackpool. The company intends to resume fracking this summer to find out more about the size and commercial potential of its reserves.

Other explorers sitting on vast shale gas deposits will also apply for fracking licences soon. Government officials are preparing to hold an onshore oil and gas licensing round this year which could result in more parts of the UK being opened up for shale exploration.

 


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