Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Age of Unconventional Methane

We are seeing the rise of methane from numerous unconventional sources as a rival player to petroleum and oil field natural gas. Already, the rapid expansion of shale gas resources has changed the local, regional, and global energy outlook. Other forms of unconventional gas -- including coal bed methane and tight sands methane -- only add to the global bonanza.

Bio-methane from the anaerobic digestion of agricultural waste provides yet another source of the clean combustible fuel for farm, ranch, and dairy regions. There is also a push to utilise the rich methane deposits being generated in municipal landfills around the world.

The Japanese are moving to exploit the rich fields of undersea methane clathrates -- which may represent a hydrocarbon resource equal to or greater than all other hydrocarbon deposits on Earth combined.

Finally, the impending tsunami of the use of synthesis gas as a niche replacement for methane and natural gas, promises to extend the already-massive reserves of methane and natural gas into the distant future.

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