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Don’t count on natural gas to solve US energy problems

OurFiniteWorld.com -- We often hear statements suggesting that by ramping up shale gas production, the US can raise total natural gas production and solve many of its energy problems, including adding quite a number of natural gas vehicles, and replacing a large share of coal fired electricity generation. While there is the possibility that shale gas will allow US natural gas supplies to increase for a few years (or even 10 or 15 years), natural gas is only about one-fourth of US fossil fuel use, so it would be very difficult to ramp it up enough to meet all of these needs.

One issue is whether a rise in shale gas will mostly offset other reductions in natural gas supply. In Annual Energy Outlook 2011, EIA forecasts that shale gas production will increase from 23% of US natural gas production in 2010 to 46% of


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Submitted Mar 18, 2012 By: orphancarguyPE
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REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
albert2008
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Mar 19, 2012 8:23:41 AM

time tells all
Gas_Eyes
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Mar 19, 2012 8:21:49 AM

This is a cautionary piece of news that although we have plenty of gas now, we must keep working on alternative energy. One day fossil fuels will run out.
mike1881
Champion Author Fayetteville

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Message Posted: Mar 19, 2012 8:10:38 AM

Duh.
dsaine
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Mar 19, 2012 8:05:42 AM

Why not?
bicycle1966
All-Star Author Akron

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Message Posted: Mar 19, 2012 6:24:57 AM

even though he gets slammed by the commenters here -- the fact is, Obama's plan is "all of the above" -- and that makes sense to me.
LetemEatCake
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 8:52:26 PM


bar1035....

Whatever energy resource this country develops to offset Gasoline usage will bring a profit to any number of different people. To blast Pickens is extremely short-sighted. Had we taken his advice several years ago...Gas prices may have been lower than they are today.

The best comment as far as I am concerned is from Schatzila!

"Don't count on anything to solve energy problems!
Work with everything available."
schatzila
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 8:45:01 PM

Don't count on anything to solve energy problems!
Work with everything available.
Tigercat88
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 7:34:03 PM

Another Expert heard from with a agenda.
alterman156
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 6:15:40 PM

Natural gas will help, but it isn't a panacea.
Ahking
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 5:11:24 PM

We need a diverse group of energy sources.
listerone
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 5:00:34 PM

"OurFiniteWorld"...hmmmmm.Would I be way out of line if I assumed that they're a left wing "the world would be a much cleaner place if all humans just killed themselves" kind of organization?
ktbaeohana
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 4:52:06 PM

We need to do thing here, keep this country running without depend on foreign oil.
PathfinderSC
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 4:24:01 PM

Oil , Natural gas , Coal and others will be needed to keep this Country
running. Right now no one fuel can keep this County going.
And as new technology is found, More will added to the list.
Paddy60
All-Star Author Alberta

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 2:07:16 PM

Fracing may cost some serious environmental problems. Who wants their water supply filled with crud.
OHMS
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 1:47:33 PM

Shale gas is needed to offset declines in conventional production and a drop in Canadian imports, so one cannot assume that an increase in shale gas production corresponds to an increase in the amount of natural gas available for consumption.
MontanaMac
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 1:29:15 PM

Great info orphancarguyPE
Night Owl
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 1:21:05 PM

Both the U.S. and Canada have plentiful reserves of natural gas. Let's use more of it.
bullman68
All-Star Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 12:54:14 PM

Solution, no but it is another viable option.
tnfran
Champion Author Arizona

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 12:29:37 PM

This is for sure.
Vetteblu
Champion Author Denver

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 12:14:52 PM

Roger that.
humblepie
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 11:15:28 AM

a new president is an excellant start.
Yooperheart
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 10:43:28 AM

Well stated Joeski 1 !!
TruthMatters
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 10:33:43 AM

Well, that's one pessimistic news that I do not want to hear!
bar1035
Champion Author Charlotte

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 10:28:38 AM

I agree. I've long viewed Pickens as huckster pushing an agenda to boost his NG investment
Joeski1
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 10:28:17 AM

So far I know of 4 unexhaustible energy supplies(none fossil fuels)

Geo thermal : the endless constant thermal from the earth

Wind: it blows always somwhere

Water: hydro, wave , current

Solar: the gift from our own star

When folks get that all else is a "flash" then we will all move responsibly forward.
orphancarguyPE
Champion Author PEI

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 10:13:58 AM

The devil is in the details, as the saying goes.

A lot of people have confounded a short-term excess of natural gas leading to low prices with a very long term plan--in the hundred year of supplies range- of using cheap natural gas to replace gasoline (in vehicles) and coal (in power plants), well, almost if it is a 'forever' rather than a transitional fuel.

It seems at first glance an excellent choice for a long term changeover--seemingly super abundant, low priced and falling, domestically produced in the US and Canada, and clean burning.

-Canada supplies a chunk to the US, but the outlook for longterm Canadian exports to the US is not so rosy, as more is used in Canada by consumers, and also to run the tar sands extraction (in huge amounts). Tar sands now accounts for 95% of Canada's oil reserves, and its massive, BUT its not gas rich like conventional wells tend to be, and our conventional resources are declining just like the US.

-Don't take one mild winter everywhere for granted, and the effects of a continuing slowness in the economy cutting demand, leading to oversupply and falling prices; natural gas might equally be in short supply given one tough winter in some areas. ALSO, a massive increase in natural gas fired air conditioning and utility electrical generation in another extremely hot humid summer could wipe out the excess. We have been lucky in having a mild winter and not being as hot last summer (Texas etc excepted) in terms of CNG/electricity load, but has everyone forgotten the events of 2003 already??
-Before you convert everything to natural gas (like huge fuel guzzling pickups and Suburbans) consider what happens if natural gas spikes due--or if road taxes finally get added to pay for road maintenance, just like on diesel and gasoline. The point being--shouldn't the symptom, using overly large and powerful and wasteful trucks when they are not needed, be corrected first? Using a 14 mpg 4x4 all the time, instead of just when you need it--when you spend $$ to convert, get used to the fact that it will get even fewer MPG (equivalent) than on gasoline or diesel, which is fine as long as the price is low, but even smaller increases with be magnified.
-The experience of Texas and the Barnett Shale does point out one drawback to oil and gas production from 'tight' sources compared to conventional wells--the bell curve of production is much steeper up and down--and of shorter duration as well. So, you have to drill more wells, more often.

-Fracking seems to be wonderful (and foregoing all the arguments against the modern horizontal version of it versus historical vertical fracking leading to water table pollution yada yada yada) as it gives a quick hit of supply, but the downside it that it is expensive, so at some point it WILL be more expensive to use natural gas, especially as the existing an cheaper conventional gas wells decline and boost the average price, let alone if there is a tightening of supply for any of several reasons. Examine the history of pricing--its not pretty on a consumer level, with huge budget busting swings and peaks, followed by rock bottom prices.

-As is pointed out, "unconventional" natural gas production has an energy footprint similar to (dirty as) coal! Not so clean after all. In point of fact, this inconvenient fact is the SAME one that is currently bedeviling the Canadian bitumen/tar sands production--the 'carbon fuel' cost is so very much higher than conventional oil production. Really, its that so much energy is needed to produce oil or gas in 'tight' formations or tar sands that explains the much higher price to produce, as well as the 'dirtiness'.
dgerst
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 10:10:01 AM

It could potentially help reduce our demand for foreign oil.
Norm10
Champion Author British Columbia

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 9:58:26 AM

It won't solve everything but it sure will help to solve some of our problems.
Gas_Eyes
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 9:49:25 AM

The long term solution is renewable energy. However it is not ready and too expensive. For the short term, while prices are low, it should help to be the stop gap.
VomVom
Champion Author Calgary

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 9:39:15 AM

NG may not replace all other fossil fuels, but it will go a long way.
uglytom
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 9:34:19 AM

Apparently US problems unsolvable!
memo81
Champion Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2012 9:33:40 AM

ok
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