Posts Tagged ‘shale gas’

Energy politics can be tough on Massachusetts politicians

Practicing politics in Massachusetts must be like steering a ship toward a safe harbor while running away from a hurricane. Certainly Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who is being battered by environmentalists, must feel that way.

Read the rest of this entry »

The changing face of global gas, or, chasing the arbitrage

The fate of US LNG import terminal projects was sealed as the amount of relatively low-cost gas produced onshore soared in the middle of the last decade. Most of them were scrapped before getting off the drawing board, but the more advanced of them, notably Cheniere’s Sabine Pass, went on to become export terminals, in a radical and apparently successful bid to salvage their backers’ fortunes.

That well-documented transformation was only made possible by the yawning price difference opening up between the depressed Henry Hub and the rest of the world.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Latin American quandary: lots of shale gas, not a lot of production

Imports of liquefied natural gas to Latin American are up 18% so far this year, according to Bentek, a unit of Platts, buoyed by growing demand from Mexico and Brazil. But, with so much recoverable indigenous supply, why is Latin America paying top dollar for imported gas?

According to the US Energy Information Administration, technically recoverable shale gas resources in Argentina are the second largest globally at 802 trillion cubic feet, Mexico’s reserves are the sixth largest at 545 Tcf, while Brazil ranks tenth with reserves estimated at 245 Tcf.

Accessing these shale reserves requires political will and costly investments, factors that have combined in various ways across the region to impede domestic production and make LNG an easy, though short-sighted solution to growing demand for electricity in Latin America.

Read the rest of this entry »

Letter from the IAEE meeting: competitive response

To visit an energy conference in New York, or perhaps anywhere in the United States, is to feel the full force of the shale gale that has swept across the US oil and gas industry, transforming the country’s domestic and foreign perspectives. Its founding fathers have achieved legendary status and are provided the veneration that only America appears capable of giving business leaders.

Shale is variously described as a “revolution,” even a “miracle.” Benjamin Schlesinger, president of Benjamin Schlesinger and Associates, went that one step further to state that “natural gas is a renewable fuel.”

This was the international conference of the International Association for Energy Economics held in New York from June 15-18, where it was clear that America is the cat that has got the cream. It is the crucible of the revolution in drilling technology that has reduced the cost of previously unrecoverable oil and gas resources to affordable levels, and it is beginning to export those technologies to the rest of the world. It no longer has to concern itself with existing and emerging import dependencies. Instead it is discussing the possibility that it may soon be a net exporter of oil.

Read the rest of this entry »

Could natural gas be the answer to London’s pollution concerns?

Over 8% of the deaths in some parts of London may be attributable to long-term exposure to man-made particulate air pollution, according to a new study from UK government body Public Health England.

The figures are highest for Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster (both at 8.3%), followed by Tower Hamlets, the local authority containing the international trading center of Canary Wharf (8.1%). In some rural parts of the UK the level is much lower, at around 2.5%.

Read the rest of this entry »

Immigration reform debate not lost on US petrochemical industry

The US petrochemical industry has the money, the cheap feedstocks, the technology and the projects to boom in a way perhaps never seen thanks to shale gas.

What it lacks is enough skilled labor to see these projects through. And as industry players will tell you, that’s a huge problem.

“This problem isn’t going to go away,” Dow Chemical VP Jim Fitterling said at the recently held IHS World Petrochemical Conference in Houston. “In fact, it has the potential to get worse.”

Read the rest of this entry »

At the Wellhead: Unconventional drilling comes to Australia’s Cooper Basin

Christine Forster writes from Australia that 2014 is going to be a key year in the quest to develop unconventional oil and gas resources in that country’s Cooper Basin. Her discussion of it is the focus of this week’s Oilgram News column, At the Wellhead.

Read the rest of this entry »

The iceman cometh again: winter isn’t over for US natural gas markets

After the wallop of the polar vortex earlier this month that sent US gas demand and US Northeast gas prices soaring to all-time highs, one would think that the worst is over, no?

That would be a negative.

Read the rest of this entry »

Is Shell’s decision to scrap GTL project an omen for US petchems?

Shell’s recent decision to abandon plans for a massively expensive gas-to-liquids project in the US Gulf Coast serves to further illustrate the complicated conundrum many petrochemical companies are faced with these days: to build or not to build.

And yet, as 2013 comes to a close, the North American petrochemical industry remains rather bullish on shale gas.

The $100 billion investment figure gets thrown around with wild abandon. Everyone wants to cash in on cheap feedstocks…still. Not one company has abandoned a major petrochemical project, at least not publicly. Read the rest of this entry »

Solar may be competitive with natural gas…someday

Solar can become competitive internationally with natural gas by 2025, claims a study authored by Lux Research. But there are several caveats to that assertion.

For example, the study said, solar becomes competitive if there is a 39% decline in utility-scale system costs by 2030 and accompanied by barriers to shale gas production, such as anti-fracking policies in Europe and the high cost of capital in South America.

Read the rest of this entry »