Shale Gas Revolution Shakes Foundations of Green Energy Policy
(Bloomberg, 23 September 2010 Colin McClelland)
Cheap, low-emission shale gas, with double the global reserves of conventional sources, will discourage investment in nuclear reactors and carbon storage that would fight climate change, a British study shows. “In a world where there is the serious possibility of cheap, relatively clean gas, who will commit large sums of money to expensive pieces of equipment to lower carbon emissions?” Paul Stevens, senior research fellow at Chatham House, a London- based institute for the study of international affairs, wrote in the report published today.
Global shale gas reserves are estimated to be 456 trillion cubic meters (16,110 trillion cubic feet) compared with 187 trillion cubic meters for conventional gas, the London-based World Energy Council said in a 2010 report. More than 60 percent of shale gas deposits, or plays, are in North America and Russia.
Shale gas is considered unconventional because it is found in sedimentary rock, not in reservoirs. Tapping it requires more wells, advanced horizontal drilling and chemicals that can pollute ground water.
A confluence of drilling history, tax credits, emission goals, technology, and incentives for landowners to allow wells has reduced U.S. shale gas production costs to less than half of conventional gas in some places, Stevens wrote. That is shaking investor confidence in conventional gas.
Cheaper Than Conventional
The cost of producing shale gas is $3 or less per million British thermal units in the Texas plays of Barnett and Haynesville, Stevens wrote. Conventional gas drilling is about $10 per million Btu, said Chris Rowland, executive director of a research unit of Ecofin Ltd., a London-based investment management company.
“If gas is available at $5 per million Btu, the all-in price for gas-fired plants would fall to around 50 euros ($67) per megawatt-hour without carbon capture and storage, or 70 euros with it,” Rowland said. That compares with 160 euros for a coal plant with CCS, perhaps falling to 130 euros in 10 years, and 85 euros for a nuclear plant, Rowland said. /Full story
Europe's Shale Gas Deposits May Alter Geopolitical Balance
(PR Newswire, 23 September 2010)
Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy James Slutz said European shale gas may alter the geostrategic balance between Russia and Europe. Speaking in Florence, Italy, at a Technical Forum on Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems, Slutz noted that shale gas presents Europe with new opportunities to develop significant gas reserves. Shale gas has been exploited successfully in the United States for several years, Slutz noted, and Europe may soon follow suit.
Mr. Slutz is the Director of International Oil and Gas Ventures for CAPPA Fund III, a Washington, DC-based group that purchased the rights to 34% of the shares of Transpetrol, the Slovak operating company for the Druzhba pipeline. Slutz is the Principal of Global Energy Strategies, an international energy consulting group.
Shale gas deposits exist throughout Western and Central Europe, with large potentially recoverable reserves in Poland, Germany, Hungary, Romania, and neighboring countries. Initial exploration is already under way in Poland, Sweden and Germany, but additional exploration is needed to determine the extent of the reserves. Conservative estimates place the potential at around 500 trillion cubic feet, or roughly 5% of existing global supply.
Poland is the most promising country because of its large reserves, with several oil majors and super-majors already initiating exploratory drilling, but government regulation and licensing is a key factor in any decision to make a direct investment in a foreign country. "The fact is, almost every country in that region has shale gas deposits, and those who develop it will be those that provide a transparent and predictable environment for investors in a long term, high risk, capital-intensive industry," said Slutz.
Slutz highlighted the geopolitical implications of developing a new source of natural gas in Europe. "Recent years have witnessed Russian dominance of natural gas pipelines, and the associated energy security concerns in Europe. What is the European commitment to energy security? How quickly will shale gas resources be developed? Shale gas has dramatically changed North America from an expected large gas importer to potentially a gas exporter – in under a decade. Many Russian experts see shale gas as a threat to their market share and their resulting political influence in Europe." /Full story
Shale Gas Will Rock the World
(The Wall Street Journal, 10 May 2010 Amy Myers Jaffe)
There's an energy revolution brewing right under our feet. Over the past decade, a wave of drilling around the world has uncovered giant supplies of natural gas in shale rock. By some estimates, there's 1,000 trillion cubic feet recoverable in North America alone—enough to supply the nation's natural-gas needs for the next 45 years. Europe may have nearly 200 trillion cubic feet of its own.
We've always known the potential of shale; we just didn't have the technology to get to it at a low enough cost. Now new techniques have driven down the price tag—and set the stage for shale gas to become what will be the game-changing resource of the decade.
I have been studying the energy markets for 30 years, and I am convinced that shale gas will revolutionize the industry—and change the world—in the coming decades. It will prevent the rise of any new cartels. It will alter geopolitics. And it will slow the transition to renewable energy.
To understand why, you have to consider that even before the shale discoveries, natural gas was destined to play a big role in our future. As environmental concerns have grown, nations have leaned more heavily on the fuel, which gives off just half the carbon dioxide of coal. But the rise of gas power seemed likely to doom the world's consumers to a repeat of OPEC, with gas producers like Russia, Iran and Venezuela coming together in a cartel and dictating terms to the rest of the world.
The advent of abundant, low-cost gas will throw all that out the window—so long as the recent drilling catastrophe doesn't curtail offshore oil and gas activity and push up the price of oil and eventually other forms of energy. Not only will the shale discoveries prevent a cartel from forming, but the petro-states will lose lots of the muscle they now have in world affairs, as customers over time cut them loose and turn to cheap fuel produced closer to home.
The shale boom also is likely to upend the economics of renewable energy. It may be a lot harder to persuade people to adopt green power that needs heavy subsidies when there's a cheap, plentiful fuel out there that's a lot cleaner than coal, even if gas isn't as politically popular as wind or solar. /Full story
Source No Hot Air The shale gas in Europe that isn't there. Unless you look
Astute investors should change their investment priorities from lunatic counter productive green energy scams and gold to gas exploration.
A long time ago and frequently since I stated that gas was the future due to its abundance, ease of recovery and renewable nature and that the government should be promoting gas conversion for vehicle engines. The ostrich or corrupt politicians that continue to inflict wind farms on the UK residents already impoverished by the EU's neu labour party have continued an enormous error in judgement or outright fraud and need to be brought to book. No cost-benefit study has been carried out, such would have shown that wind energy does not reduce either CO2 emissions or oil and coal dependence. From 3% penetration emissions and fuel dependence are caused to escalate. When specific factors are considered the cost of the (~8% of capacity usable) energy that wind erratically delivers is 3 to 4 times as expensive as that of conventional energy sources without counting the cost of building reserve energy plants (coal and gas fired) for when the wind doesn't blow (guaranteed in winter), the essential yet hugely expensive infrastructure upgrade that is required to integrate increasing numbers of the eyesore wind turbine farms, smart meter fitment and monitoring, and replacement of and disposal of end of life units every 12 to 20 years. They cause unemployment rather than create jobs in that the penalty for their inclusion in the energy mix drives costs up and makes businesses uncompetitive. As well as being an offence against the electorate they are also an offence against nature in that their bird shredding rate is staggering.
The rest of the CCNet newsletter reported the following items that are relevant to current circumstances:
The Farm That Will Milk Britons Of Billions
(The Sunday Telegraph, 26 September 2010 Christopher Booker)
In all the publicity given to the opening of "the world's largest wind farm" off the Kent coast last week, by far the most important and shocking aspect of this vast project was completely overlooked. Over the coming years we will be giving the wind farm's Swedish owners a total of £1.2 billion in subsidies. That same sum, invested now in a single nuclear power station, could yield a staggering 13 times more electricity, with much greater reliability.
The first all-too-common mistake in the glowing coverage accorded to the inauguration of this Thanet wind farm by the Climate Change Secretary, Chris Huhne, was to accept unquestioningly the claims of the developer, Vattenfall, about its output. The array of 100 three-megawatt (MW) turbines, each the height of Blackpool Tower, will have, it was said, the "capacity" to produce 300MW of electricity, enough to "power" 200,000 (or even 240,000) homes.
This may be true at those rare moments when the wind is blowing at the right speeds. But the wind, of course, is intermittent, and the average output of these turbines will be barely a quarter of that figure. The latest official figures on the website of Mr Huhne's own department show that last year the average output (or "load factor") of Britain's offshore turbines was only 26 per cent of their capacity.
Due to its position, the wind farm's owners will be lucky to get, on average, 75MW from their windmills, a fraction of the output of a proper power station. The total amount of electricity the turbines actually produce will equate to the average electricity usage not of 240,000 homes, but of barely half that number. /Full story
Lord Turnbull: A Climate Overhaul Is Needed To Win Back Public Trust
(Financial Times, 27 September 2010 Andrew Turnbull)
When in November 2009 an archive of some 1,000 e-mails sent and received by scientists at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia was leaked to the blogosphere alarm bells started to ring. Was this evidence of serious malpractice by scientists on both sides of the Atlantic? Had scientists sought to prevent views critical of their work from appearing in scientific literature? Had scientists deleted e-mails to avoid disclosure under the UK’s Freedom of Information legislation? In passing information to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had they omitted inconvenient evidence?
These allegations could not simply be brushed aside as the rough and tumble of academic discourse. The UK’s climate policy has been based on the assessment of the IPCC to which the CRU has been a major contributor. The UK has enshrined in legislation a duty to ensure that carbon emissions in 2050 will be reduced by 80 per cent. Allowing for growth assumptions, this means in 40 years we will have to create a unit of gross domestic product producing 5 per cent of the carbon dioxide currently emitted, an objective that is totally unconditional on what other countries do. /Full story
Editorial: As Long As Pachauri Remains In Place, Nobody Will Trust The IPCC
(Daily Express 24 September 2010)
This newspaper has long been in the sceptical camp when it comes to the great man-made global warming scare. It is not the warnings of some scientists about the possible impact of climate change that are most objectionable but rather their elevation into an orthodoxy that it is not permissible to challenge.
Yet there has always been the whiff of hyperbole surrounding claims made by the high priests of the climate change movement.
One of the most alarming predictions was the forecast of Dr Rajendra Pachauri that the Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035, causing an environmental disaster. As chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the official United Nations body in this area, Dr Pachauri’s warning commanded massive attention. But now even he admits it was not justified.
So no wonder he is under pressure to step down. In Britain even adherents of the climate change panic wish him to depart. As Tim Yeo, chairman of the all-party Commons committee on the subject, observes: “Climate science needs a guarantee of utmost reliability and Dr Pachauri can no longer guarantee that.”
It is obvious that Dr Pachauri should resign and take the rest of his discredited panel with him. But there is a very good reason why those who first challenged his views need not bother to press the issue: while Dr Pachauri and his allies remain in place few people will believe future IPCC scare stories about the world drastically overheating. /Full story
Climate Wars: EU Threatens Rest Of The World With Flight Ban
(Handelsblatt, 22 September 2010 Thomas Ludwig)
Foreign airlines are threatened with a flight and landing ban from 2012 in the European Union if they do not participate in emissions trading.
The ban is proposed in an internal document by the EU Commission seen by Handelsblatt.Summarised on nine pages, the guidelines describe how such a ban could be implement. The Commission considers a flight and landing ban as a last resort to make the airlines surrender over its Emissions Trading Scheme.
An EU Directive stipulates that airlines from Europe and third countries are mandated to be included in the trading of emissions rights. On their flights to and from Europe, they may then only emit as much CO2 as the CO2 certificates they hold. 85 percent of the certificates are free of charge while 15 percent of the allowances have to bought via auctions.
“The whole project has not been thought through. The EU cannot impose its law on third countries,” Holger Krahmer, environmental spokesman for the German Liberal Party in the EU Parliament told Handelsblatt.
In fact, international resistance against the EU plan is growing. Several American, Asian and African airlines are suing the EU over its emissions trade project. The US Aviation Association ATA is attempting to have the policy suspended by the European Court of Justice. And the Russian government has also voiced its displeasure in Brussels. /Full story
India wary as West plots new climate moves ahead of Cancun
(Times of India, 23 September 2010 Nitin Sethi)
NEW DELHI: With all key countries discounting the possibility of a complete new global deal on climate change at Cancun, Mexico, in November, US and other rich countries have begun closed-door parleys to instead discuss a brief but game-altering 'Mexico Mandate'.
There are indications that the 'Mexico Mandate' could set new ground rules for crucial negotiations leading to a final new deal by December 2011. The move has not gone down well with the Indian government which sees pitfalls in allowing decisions on issues closer to developed countries' interests at Cancun while concerns of the South are unresolved.
The mandate could be in form of a series of decisions that all countries accept instead of hammering out a comprehensive new package. The Indian negotiators feel it could force negotiations to depart away from Bali mandate which was concluded after a heated debate in 2009 with developing countries managing to push in concerns of equity and development rights even as US and others fought hard to pin responsibility for mitigation on emerging economies.
Since Bali, negotiations that led up to and after Copenhagen Accord are seen by developing nations, especially BASIC nations — China, India, Brazil, South Africa — as a consistent attempt to reduce differential in responsibilities between rich and poor nations. /Full story
Stephen Budiansky: The Teflon Doomsayers
(Liberal Curmudgeon Blog, 26 September 2010)
In The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley offers example after spectacular example of a phenomenon that has baffled me ever since I began covering environmental issues in my first job in journalism thirty years ago: to wit, that while the entire presumable goal, purpose, and raison d'être of applied environmental science is to solve environmental problems, any environmental scientist who dares to suggest that problems are being solved is asking for trouble. As Ridley observes, we have arrived at a state where even the most wildly irrational pessimism is treated with reverence, while the most cautiously sober optimism is ridiculed.
Some of this is human nature and was ever thus; intellectuals, as The Rational Optimist reminds us, have been decrying modernism ever since modernism began. Actually, I wouldn't stop there: the belief in a lost golden age is as old as civilization, as is the intellectual vanity of casting oneself as the lone uncorrupted voice in the wilderness. A few thousand years before Dostoevsky, Malthus, George Orwell, and Paul Ehrlich, the Hebrew prophets were pouring out gloom and dismay with the best of them, dismissing the superficial comforts of the civilized world and its material rewards as a fool's paradise. Pessimism is what people with deep minds and deep souls have; optimism is what idiots with vacant grins on their faces have.
Pessimism is of course a proven fund-raising tool; "save the whales!" is always going to bring in more cash than "the whales are being saved!" But much more than that, we have today the amusingly ironic spectacle of tenured professors with salaries, health insurance, lifetime job security, and excellent retirement plans courtesy of TIAA-CREF being showered with worldly rewards (bestselling books, "genius" awards) for telling us that progress is an illusion and the end is near . . . while still preening themselves as daring outsiders courageously taking on the mighty and powerful. The fact that it takes no daring at all to adopt such an intellectual posture these days does not stop any of the practitioners of this business model from invariably announcing themselves to be the bearers of "dangerous" or "heretical" ideas and congratulating themselves for "speaking truth to power."
So there are understandable reasons why it pays to say that things have gone to hell and will continue to go to hell.
What I find almost inexplicable in all of this, however, is how the scientific doomsayers get away over and over again with making predictions that are fabulously, ridiculously — and demonstrably — incorrect, without the slightest repercussions upon their credibility or careers. Predictions of impending doom are published based on absurd methodologies and threadbare evidence of a kind that in the normal course of scientific affairs would be sufficient to ruin careers ten times over, and the authors walk away from them without a scratch. /Full story
Elsewhere, e.g. in BusinessGreen.con China is reported to be attempting to revive negotiations for a global agreement on reduction in production of benign plant fertiliser (CO2). Strong, the disgraced former UN VIP responsible for the creation of abominations such as UNEP, the IPCC, the Kyoto protocol etc. is in China. As a Club of Rome member and Rothschild/Rockefeller henchman one must assume that he is continuing to promote his and Rothschild's civilisation damaging philosophy that includes transfer of wealth from the developed world to the developing world. Why would he advise China to support continued negotiations? Looking at the largesse the misanthropic, eco-fascist EU/EC has shown in showering China with I.O.U.s drawn against the EU electorate in the form of carbon credits, the damage to competitiveness done to Western business by the aforementioned green regulations, one can only wonder why China has been so slow in coming forward. Perhaps it took this long for Strong to overcome with greed their natural human tendency towards honesty. CO2 is neither a pollutant nor harmful to the climate. The political and financial games being played using the molecule's fantasized miracle ability to drive climate by the addition of 2 parts per million per year I believe constitute outright fraud. The EPA has been dragged into court for their part in the deception, let's hope (and pray if you are religious) that the rest of the fraudsters face a judge very soon.
Footnote. The EU's part in funding the CO2 science fraud to support the carbon credit fraud is documented here.
For my reference:
Fraud 1. Maldives, Tuvalu, sea levels
Fraud 2. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
Fraud 3. Carbon credits
Fraud 4. The Wind Energy Boondoggle
Supplement to Fraud 4. Wind Energy
Fraud 5. Biofuel Boondoggle
Fraud 6. AGW by CO2 is settled science (by consensus)
Fraud 7. The IPCC - Its Reason For Being