Leaving it in the ground

Shale gas was mentioned in Obama’s energy speech last night:

Recent innovations have given us the opportunity to tap large reserves – perhaps a century’s worth – in the shale under our feet”, said the President at Georgetown University.

“Now, we have to make sure we’re doing it safely, without polluting our water supply,” added the President in his speech. “And that’s why I’m asking my Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, to work with other agencies, the natural gas industry, states, and environmental experts to improve the safety of this process.”

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Leaving it in the ground

Shale gas was mentioned in Obama’s energy speech last night:

Recent innovations have given us the opportunity to tap large reserves – perhaps a century’s worth – in the shale under our feet”, said the President at Georgetown University.

“Now, we have to make sure we’re doing it safely, without polluting our water supply,” added the President in his speech. “And that’s why I’m asking my Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, to work with other agencies, the natural gas industry, states, and environmental experts to improve the safety of this process.”

Continue reading Leaving it in the ground

Algeria shale: bigger than the US?

There’s that Game Changer description again, this time showing up in South Africa:

There is real potential for shale gas in Africa and if it is discovered in substantial quantities it would be a game changer for the energy sector in Africa,  Chris Faulkner, CEO of Dallas based exploration company Breitling Oil & Gas, says.
Speaking at the Power Generation conference in Sandton, Faulkner said there are two shale gas basins of interest  in Africa – in the Ghadames Basin – Berkine Basin – Illizi platform in North Africa – covering  Algeria, Libya and Tunisia, and the Karoo Basin in South Africa

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Algeria shale: bigger than the US?

There’s that Game Changer description again, this time showing up in South Africa:

There is real potential for shale gas in Africa and if it is discovered in substantial quantities it would be a game changer for the energy sector in Africa,  Chris Faulkner, CEO of Dallas based exploration company Breitling Oil & Gas, says.
Speaking at the Power Generation conference in Sandton, Faulkner said there are two shale gas basins of interest  in Africa – in the Ghadames Basin – Berkine Basin – Illizi platform in North Africa – covering  Algeria, Libya and Tunisia, and the Karoo Basin in South Africa

None of that is especially new, or at least to NHA readers, although I’ll just add that there is very interesting conventional gas activity happening in Tanzania and Mozambique with talk already forming of LNG exports to India. But the big news is what Algeria has said recently both at CERA in Houston earlier this month and Sonatrach confirmed to No Hot Air directly,  that the Algerian shale reserves are far larger than huge or big, or massive. Certainly game changing doesn’t even start to describe the size.

He said the Ghadames basin could be the biggest shale gas basin in the world. It is 109 square kilometres in size. There is active drilling there and the basin has estimated reserves of 35,000 trillion cubic feet. First fracking has taken place and early indications are that it has ten times the amount of reserves than in the US.  If the reserves from Algeria hold up, they will be bigger than the US, Faulkner said.

35,000 TCF! Lets be conservative and say the actual gas in place would be 10%. That still provides 3500 TCF or over one thousand years of UK gas use at last year’s rate of  3.2 TCF.

Another way of looking at this is how I told someone from a US oil major about a European gas find estimated at 45 TCF the other day, and the man’s jaw dropped.  We can also expect the paranoid conspiracy theorists of any political stripe to notice plots  in Algeria, Libya and Tunisia.

LNG powered ferries

Once people start moving away from the finite gas scenario and start thinking of creating demand instead of worrying about supply, a lot of what used to be marginally interesting new applications for gas suddenly start making mainstream sense.

One application is in shipping, one of the holdouts of oil. Marine fuel is known as bunker fuel, a name that derives from coal bunkers. The replacment of coal to oil in shipping took many years, but it happened. Replacing oil with LNG provides, short of a return to the age of sail which even the most radical greens have yet to propose, the only way to provide noticeable carbon reductions in shipping.

LNG shipping won’t happen overnight as it has a lot of infrastructure issues with it, which is why initial marine LNG applications arose in the ferry sector in the Baltic. News here of a new LNG ferry being built in Tasmania for Uruguay:

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LNG powered ferries

Once people start moving away from the finite gas scenario and start thinking of creating demand instead of worrying about supply, a lot of what used to be marginally interesting new applications for gas suddenly start making mainstream sense.

One application is in shipping, one of the holdouts of oil. Marine fuel is known as bunker fuel, a name that derives from coal bunkers. The replacment of coal to oil in shipping took many years, but it happened. Replacing oil with LNG provides, short of a return to the age of sail which even the most radical greens have yet to propose, the only way to provide noticeable carbon reductions in shipping.

LNG shipping won’t happen overnight as it has a lot of infrastructure issues with it, which is why initial marine LNG applications arose in the ferry sector in the Baltic. News here of a new LNG ferry being built in Tasmania for Uruguay:

Continue reading LNG powered ferries

The US Chemical Supercycle

More here on one of the key shale gets better as it ripplies out stories,  that of the advantage the US now has in chemical production:

The stars appear to be aligning for a “supercycle” for the US petrochemical sector. Along with the tightness emerging from supply constraints and recovering domestic and global demand, the shale gas revolution has handed producers a sustainable competitive advantage in the form of abundant and cheap feedstocks.

Let me count the ways:  First shale gas production leads to a collapse in gas prices, followed by a fall in power costs.  Then shale oil enters, giving the US WTI a $15 a barrel advantage over the rest of the planet.  And now:

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The US Chemical Supercycle

More here on one of the key shale gets better as it ripplies out stories,  that of the advantage the US now has in chemical production:

The stars appear to be aligning for a “supercycle” for the US petrochemical sector. Along with the tightness emerging from supply constraints and recovering domestic and global demand, the shale gas revolution has handed producers a sustainable competitive advantage in the form of abundant and cheap feedstocks.

Let me count the ways:  First shale gas production leads to a collapse in gas prices, followed by a fall in power costs.  Then shale oil enters, giving the US WTI a $15 a barrel advantage over the rest of the planet.  And now:

Continue reading The US Chemical Supercycle

Gaslands’s half-life

Just when we thought it was safe to drink the water,  news from France in this translation of an AFP story,  that reminds us how powerful Gasland remains by replacing scientific fact with a catastrophic narrative of fear, conspiracy, paranoia and general doom.

Gasland has fallen off the US radar somewhat, and appears to have fallen completely flat in both the UK and Australia.  But act two of Gasland shows how dangerous it can still be for the narrative in France, however mangled the translation:

.now famous for the scene where a man sets fire to the water from his tap … “Gasland” documentary about the ravages of shale gas in the United States, landed on French screens with shocking images that will fuel further debate on the use of this energy.

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Gaslands’s half-life

Just when we thought it was safe to drink the water,  news from France in this translation of an AFP story,  that reminds us how powerful Gasland remains by replacing scientific fact with a catastrophic narrative of fear, conspiracy, paranoia and general doom.

Gasland has fallen off the US radar somewhat, and appears to have fallen completely flat in both the UK and Australia.  But act two of Gasland shows how dangerous it can still be for the narrative in France, however mangled the translation:

.now famous for the scene where a man sets fire to the water from his tap … “Gasland” documentary about the ravages of shale gas in the United States, landed on French screens with shocking images that will fuel further debate on the use of this energy.

Continue reading Gaslands’s half-life