Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Seep Here, A Seep There . . . Before You Know It, Your Entire Society Is Running on Gas

The world is swimming in hydrocarbons. One modest sign of the richness of shale gas deposits is this waterfall in western New York state, where a natural methane seep provides an eternal flame for hikers. US shale gas has become an amazing economic and geopolitical phenomenon, with money to be made across large swathes of the lower 48 states. Homeowners who heat their homes with gas have also had a lot of reasons to be happier about their energy bills over the past two years or so.
___________________________Waterfall Photo: Jessica Ball

Just one of the amazing "gold rush" shale gas deposits in the US will be highlighted in a television documentary on CNBC November 23 2010.
Oil vs Gas MMBTU

Natural gas is significantly cheaper than oil, per unit of heat energy, as seen in the graph above. Someone who could economically convert gas to liquids (GTL) might be able to take advantage of that price difference and make a lot of money.

Robert Rapier recently highlighted the Shell Oil GTL plant in Malaysia, and made reference to the larger Shell GTL plant to be completed in 2011 in Qatar. If the price of oil continues to be much higher than the price of gas -- in energy units -- such GTL conversion plants could well pay off.

Given the large amount of natural gas which is flared into the atmosphere every year, some intriguing new approaches to on-site conversion of GTL at gas wells -- including offshore wells, may offer a profitable income stream for smaller producers and individual wells.

It has been proven that natural gas is constantly being generated deep beneath the Earth's crust -- inside the hot mantle. We do not yet know how much of that gas penetrates into the crust to the point of economic extraction by humans, but it is likely to prove significant, in the opinion of Al Fin energy analysts.

Published earlier at Al Fin under a different title.



Blogger Jessica Ball said...

I appreciate the link to my blog post, but my blog policies (and Creative Commons copyright) clearly state that I must be contacted before my photos are used anywhere other than my blog, and that they must be attributed to me. Please correct this on your post, or I will have to ask you to remove my photo.

8:15 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

Jessica "Tuff Cookie" Ball:

I am requesting permission to continue using your waterfall photo in this blog post and at alfin2100.

I will do my best to correct my earlier failure to attribute your ownership of the photo, both at alfin2300 and at alfin2100.

Your kindness in not having my legs broken (or worse) for my mistake is much appreciated. ;-)


Al Fin

9:10 AM  
Blogger Jessica Ball said...

Permission granted. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but some of the other geobloggers I know have had problems with people stealing their blog content outright, and I want to keep an eye on my own.


3:51 PM  
Blogger al fin said...

Very wise, indeed. Thanks for your understanding.

Geoblogging must be a very cut-throat endeavour. I shall try to avoid it whenever possible, in the future, to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.

8:16 AM  

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