Posted by: David Powell
2010 saw the emergence of a potential future abundant supply of natural gas, which could potentially stabilise and suppress gas prices for years to come.
Shale gas – also known as ‘unconventional’ gas –has always been known to exist in rocks deep below the Earth but it’s only in recent years that the technology has emerged to extract it in a safe and cost effective way. However, this is a viewpoint disputed by some, particularly in the environmental sector, as the safety and environmental impact of Shale gas is questionable. Recent events have raised a few eyebrows – such as the blowout in Pennsylvania that shot a 23-metre combustible gusher of gas and toxic waste water into the air added to reports of natural gas coming through household taps in towns nearby! http://youtu.be/d6G6Ap-mF0k Also, a recent report by the Democrat party in the States suggested that more than 650 of the chemicals used in shale gas fracking were carcinogens.
However, many analysts are optimistic. The US is now beginning to adapt to recently built LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) import terminals into export terminals (completion expected in 2015), with hopes of future LNG exports in mind. Although the emergence of shale gas began in America, the required geology and resources are worldwide and the scope for energy provision is huge. As Nick Grealy of consultancy ‘No Hot Air’ advises:
“This could be the best news for energy since the North Sea discoveries. Ignore shale at your peril.”