Shale Gas 2014

chickensThis is the second on a series about shale gas, following the sixth anniversary of  shale being mentioned in No Hot Air in 2008.  

Without giving too much away from a work in progress, what can we learn comparing 2008 with 2014? Here are only three trends

  1. Even the most conservative US gas production predictions of 2008 were completely wrong
  2. Six years ago, no one predicted the impact of shale oil production. This year over million barrels a day each from the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Permian plays each has effectively made the Middle East and Ukraine a case of “Crisis? What Crisis?”
  3. In 2008, the idea that the US would export LNG to Europe and Asia would have been considered ludicrous.  

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Shale Gas nostalgia. No Hot Air on shale 6 years ago

official know it allOne of my less endearing traits is to say I told you so, and to say it all too often. This is the sixth anniversary of No Hot Air’s first mention of shale gas way back when. I’ll be doing more posts on shale today and where I see shale six years from now.

For the moment let’s go back to August 12 2008, when Lehman Brothers straddled the earth, the iPad was still two years off and we all rented DVD’s at Blockbuster Video. Absolutely everyone believed in peak oil ,Henry Hub had just reached $13MMBU, Brent was $150 and UK NBP gas prices 80 pence a therm. Everyone thought, in Europe at least, that energy prices would go nowhere except up. Almost everyone.

Some people prefer to be wrong in a group. I’ve always preferred to be unconventional and saw immediately how shale changes everything:

Continue reading Shale Gas nostalgia. No Hot Air on shale 6 years ago

Coal to Natural Gas: An obvious answer to an unasked question

FB Unfriend CoalIn the 2014 shale silly season, we’re going to see last summer’s fracking movement die on the beaches of Blackpool next week, in large part because mainstream green organisations, with the notable exception of the Friends of the Earth bitter enders, are increasingly finding basic scientific facts about natural gas inarguable.

  • Gas is prevalent and abundant.
  • The methane emission issue has been revealed as both outlier and open to multiple solutions where it does exist
  • The climate impact of coal to gas switching is unassailable

The green battleship takes time to turn around. I’ve noted before that green organisations, who last summer were leading demonstrations into blind alleys, can only reconcile themselves to natural gas if they come to conclusions themselves.  No one is going to suddenly enthuse themselves natural gas, but  an increasing number of people within more rational NG0’s are at least starting to understand the question of what to do about coal better, even if they cannot yet (publicly) bring themselves to even mouth the answer.

The key breakthrough was earlier this year in the Mitigation Report of the IPCC, who made a key point on page 16.

Continue reading Coal to Natural Gas: An obvious answer to an unasked question

The secret impact of fracking on water, children and health. The story we don’t hear.

no-fracking-200x200Everyone knows shale gas causes pollution right? That’s what the big debate is all about and the biggest questions revolve about the truly emotive topics of water, children and health. If we are to have a fact based debate, a logical place to concentrate on is Pennsylvania, an area of the US that, like Europe today, was completely unfamiliar with natural gas production until recently. It is also one which went from producing 1 BCM in 2008 to over 150BCM in only six years. 150 BCM is more than the entire annual use of the UK. And Germany. Combined. 

We’re also told how we can’t have any fracking near water supplies, or in national parks or areas of outstanding natural beauty. Which, as far as I’m concerned sounds reasonable in most cases. 

Yet the results of a multi- year study in Westmoreland County Pennsylvania tell something else again:

Continue reading The secret impact of fracking on water, children and health. The story we don’t hear.