Tuesday, February 7, 2017

More gas

Bloomberg reports that recent natural gas discoveries under the Eastern Mediterranean are huge:

"The whole area from Cyprus to Lebanon and Egypt may be sitting on even bigger gas fields. The United States Geological Survey estimates they could hold more than 340 trillion cubic feet, an amount that would surpass U.S. proven reserves, though many in the industry think the actual volume may be lower."

Of course, Europe now gets its gas from Russia, Norway, and a mix of other sources - North Africa and even now the U.S. Gulf and East coasts.

If some of this Mediterranean gas resource can be developed, it will shift demand away from Russia and Norway. To the extent of a shift from Russia, Russia will look to export more to China and Asia. And North American gas exporters will seek other markets in the Americas and Asia.  That will push back against potential development of new resources from Madagascar to Canada.

Still, the bountiful nature of natural gas finds suggests to me that the world CAN move away from coal at a faster pace, with just a little political will.  It also suggests that we need to accelerate research, development and commercialization efforts at using natural gas as efficiently as possible. It is going to be with us for awhile, and it should be the last fossil fuel we are using as we continue on a longer scale transition to 100% renewables.

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