Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Links to Articles on Shale Gas Production

I wanted to collect together a series of articles on the development of shale gas and shale liquids in Texas, and its expansion from Texas to Arkansas, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, British Columbia, and overseas. The expansion of tight gas production in the US is having a profound effect in regional economies, as well as providing natural gas at a price that is allowing businesses to remain open that otherwise would have shut down when gasoline prices were increasing between 2009 and early 2011.

It's important to study shale gas development in detail, so that we can discern for ourselves what impact shale gas will have on the future of the US economy, as well as the global economy. It's important to get this right so that we don't over or under hype this potential resource.

On that note, here's links to some good articles as well as a quick description of each article:

Shale-Gas Reserves Have Potential to Reignite U.S. Economy

This very recent article from Bloomberg Energy does a good job of giving the history of horizontal drill and fracturing, especially the role of George P. Mitchell in developing these techniques for economically getting natural gas out of tight shale formations

An Information Video on Horizontal Drilling and Fracturing

This is a video overview of the technologies used to produce natural gas from tight shale formations. A must-see for anybody that's not already an expert.

Stepping on the Gas

This article and video interview by Daniel Yergen is an intro to shale gas development by this Pulitzer Prize winning author.

Say no to wind farms: Shale of the century

This article by author Matt Ridley is mostly just an opinion article, but it covers the impact that cheap gas has on arguments from alternative energy companies for subsidies.

Shale gas

Wiki site that gives a decent overview of shale gas resources, environment impact and economic impact.

Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of Marcellus shale gas

This journal article calculates the emission of greenhouse gases over the lifetime of a power plant (including emissions of CO2 and CH4 from the wellhead.) They find that the lifecycle emission of greenhouse gases is roughly half of that from an efficient coal power plant per unit of electricity generated.

Shale gas part of BC economic growth solution

This website does a good job of summarizing what's happening in Northern British Columbia regarding shale gas development. Drilling started taking off here after it got big in the Barnett, Haynesville and Marcellus shales, but it's growing fast because of the large demand for natural gas next door in Alberta to increase the hydrogen to carbon ratio of the tar sand petroleum products.

U.K. Gets Big Shale Find

WSJ article on the UK's potential for 200 trillion cubic foot of natural gas.

China Plans Subsidies to Tap Shale Gas Reserves Larger Than U.S.

It is possible that China might be able to reduce the environmental impact of generating electricity by switching from coal to natural gas. While China has virtually no conventionally sources of natural gas, they appear to hold more unconventional sources of natural gas than the US. China's goal is to increase natural gas use by three fold so that it is ~10% of total their 'exergy' consumption by 2020.

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I will continue to add to this post as I find good review articles and essays on natural gas production from shale geologic formations. If we globally get this right, then natural gas from shale will be a way for us to continue to grow while decreasing our emissions of CO2, NOx, SOx, mercury, particulates and decrease our consumption of fresh water in power plant cooling towers. This can be a win-win situation if we get this right, and we can get it right if we don't over or under hype this potential resource.

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