Will the glut of natural gas be a good thing for the environment? The gas industry insists it could be if we invest in the infrastructure to use it, as it would displace coal, which produces more CO2 when burned.
Environmentalists, however, say that investing in gas would simply lay the groundwork for a whole new generation of hydrocarbon-producing power plants, and set the goal of sharply reducing emissions back years.
In this week’s readers’ Q&A session, Jack Gerard, head of the API, the voice of the US oil industry, answers your questions.
In this second of two posts, he discusses peak oil, the potential of natural gas, and what the API’s lobbying achieves.
Earlier, he answered questions on the importance of energy efficiency, why drilling curbs should be eased and where the world will find new sources of oil.
Next in the hotseat is Magued Eldaief, the head of GE’s UK energy business. He ill be answering your questions next Friday, January 21st. Send in your questions for consideration by the end of Sunday, January 16th to firstname.lastname@example.org.
But for now, over to Jack:
Image by Shell
Many thanks for all your questions for Yvo de Boer, former head of the UN climate change department and current advisor to KPMG. His answers will appear on this site on Friday, December 10th.
Next week, the person in the hotseat will be Peter Voser, the boss of one of the world’s biggest oil companies, Shell. This is your chance to ask him anything you want, from the controversy surrounding oil sands, to why Shell thinks gas is so important, to the prospects for drilling in the Gulf following the BP spill.
Email all your questions to email@example.com by the end of Monday, December 13th.
The shale boom keeps getting better and better. A new report by PFC Energy, the consultancy, shows that the already generous estimates of production from the huge gas field known as the Marcellus Shale were not big enough. Apparently a Pennsylvania law kept well data closed for five years up to August. Now that the data is out, the results, PFC says, are startling.
As of August 1st, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) required that Operators submit the 12 month production records for the dates beginning July 2009 and ending June 2010. After compiling and organizing the data, the DEP released the well production records for those companies which participated in the data submission and the results display some interesting and unique insights into why the Marcellus truly is different than the rest of the shales. An in depth review of the reported well production data shows that the Marcellus Shale appears to be behaving differently than the other shales, with decline rates now estimated at – 15% as opposed to prior view of around 60%. These results place the Marcellus wells in an entirely different category from those in other basins.
So if production is not declining as rapidly as was thought, that means US gas production has room to grow even more robustly than anticipated. And as good as that sounds, the US natural gas market already is so glutted, and prices so low, that some companies are contemplating spending millions of dollars converting natural gas import terminals to export terminals and turning the US into a natural gas exporter.