Archive for the 'EIA' Category

Great news re gas

It was good to read a really uplifting EIA report : Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas.

In this period of economic gloom it was great see that we have a real and new engine for growth ready on our door step. It is gas, gas from shale, coalbeds and other unconventional sources.

Yes, I know, it is still a fossil fuel. But let us agree that gas is so much better than coal. We would not have had the increase in CO2 emissions in Europe had it not been for the fact that gas is too expensive relative to coal. All the discussion about taxing coal would not have been necessary and Europe would have seen real effects of all its efforts to generate sustainable energy and increase energy efficiency.

Fracking (the method used to extract shale gas) can be detrimental to the environment. So let us find ways to ensure that those effects are minimized. The Golden Rules as established by the EIA are the following:

Measure, disclose and engage
Watch where you drill
Isolate wells and prevent leaks
Treat water responsibly
Eliminate venting, minimise flaring and other emissions
Be ready to think big
Ensure a consistently high level of environmental performance

The Economist came out in support of these Golden Rules. It stated But the risks from shale gas can be managed. Properly concreted well-shafts do not leak; regurgitants can be collected and made safe; preventing gas venting and flaring would limit methane emissions to acceptable levels; and the risk of tremors, which commonly occur as a result of conventional oil-and-gas activities, can be contained by careful monitoring.

As to the 6th rule Be Ready Think Big. I liked the fact that this rules suggest to stimulate economies of scale in order to be able to develop an infrastructure that minimizes its impact on the envoironment.

Let us embrace the opportunities shale gas is offering. Use it to reduce coal based Green House Gas emissions and let us build an economy build on wind, water, solar AND gas. If we than also invest in Carbon Capture and Storage the dream of a carbon neutral economy might become true.

Felix Gruijters

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