Natural Gas to the rescue?

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StefanP's picture
StefanP
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Natural Gas to the rescue?

Hey all,

I just read this piece over at ZH Oil has joined the Past… NG is the Future!. What is everyone's opinion on NG as the one energy source that has the potential to kick the can down the road one more time. My rough calcuations suggest that even without fraking, NG could last for another ~50 years as a replacement for oil post peak:

Enough natural gas for 250 years

List of countries by natural gas consumption

List of countries by oil consumption

Annual world oil consumption: 3.138×10^10 barrels of oil equivalent (boe)

Annual natural gas consumption: 1.95×10^10 boe

World NG reserves [fraking]: 130 [250] x 1.95×10^10 boe = 2.535x10^12 [4.875x10^12] boe

=> 2.535x10^12 [4.875x10^12] / (3.138×10^10 + 1.95×10^10) = 49.8 [95.8] years

Appreciate your thoughts.

Stefan

EndGamePlayer's picture
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SEE- Gas land dvd

Read the Post Carbon Institu

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Re: Natural Gas to the rescue?

 

NG is Promising, just need to fix the glitches.

 

www.fastcompany.com/1686473/the-downside-of-natural-gas-contaminated-water

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Re: SEE- Gas land dvd

"Wind and solar are highly intermittent sources of power that simply cannot replace the supply offered by burning fossil fuels; there’s no known method of storing the energy to meet modern civilization’s 24/7 load. When fully present, the energy density of renewable energy sources, excluding hydro, which is pretty-well developed, is a fraction of fossil fuels. A good wind site produces no power for the equivalent of 270 days a year, since the windspeed is not within the linear design curve of the turbines. PV solar power output falls to 20% of nameplate at noon when a cloud passes over; CSP or concentrated solar power output falls to zero unless there is full, direct sunlight.

Frac gas production is far lower than stated (guessed) reserves – locally, we see an 80% decline in production the first year, 30% the second – total producible gas from shale is about 10% of claims made to investors.

The world was solar powered until 1750 (coal). Oil was commercially exploited in 1859. Life on solar/wind power never supported more than 1 billion people on the planet. The future will be solar powered again. Getting there is not going to involve T Boone’s huckstering his gas and wind interests, it’s going to involve living in 1850."

 

And watch: 

http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/

 

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Re: Natural Gas to the rescue?

All the basic assumptions about the limits of true alternatives to nat gas and oil are flawed. The nature of the problem is political. There is no real political will to develop sources that challenge both the nuclear and oil (nat gas) oligarchic complex. Remove the source of the problem, provide a strong, well financed Manhattan Project like push into alternatives, and research and development will provide something within a decade. Easily.

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Re: Natural Gas fracting to polute aquifers

Sorry for he short post above (ipad does that).

Gas Land dvd explains a lot of what is happening to the water and why there won't be much left after the NG is harvested. Then we would all have to buy all our water. . . all of it.

PCI (Post Carbon Institute) just released a additional chapter to the book and it details how they increased 200% of the number of wells and are only getting 15% more gas production.

Henning Kemner also has a video out detailing how all the fracking is cracking the New Madrid fault line. There will be enough stress on the ptectonic plates from pole moving going on - fracking could mean double troubles and he theorizes Oklahoma wuld be atop a big quick sand of crumbled sand stone.

Yeah, it would be nice to switch to NG --IF they can take care of those "little details".

Otherwise, I like my water without 596 toxic chemicals and my plate tectonics just where they are.

EndGamePlayer

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Re: Natural Gas to the rescue?
agitating prop wrote:

All the basic assumptions about the limits of true alternatives to nat gas and oil are flawed. The nature of the problem is political. There is no real political will to develop sources that challenge both the nuclear and oil (nat gas) oligarchic complex. Remove the source of the problem, provide a strong, well financed Manhattan Project like push into alternatives, and research and development will provide something within a decade. Easily.

Easily?   Spoken like a true central planner. 

If it is so easy and guaranteed to be successful, why is nobody doing it?  It is likely that TPTB have no interest in destabilizing the status quo, but surely some entrepreneur can see the 100's of billions of dollars to be earned if they find this holy grail.  Why are they not trying?   Is it because each try will will cost billions and only 1 of 100 will actually work?

At least in the example of the Manhattan Project, they were all working towards a single idea, nuclear weapons.  Also the whole Manhattan Project only cost $22 billion in 2011 dollars whereas our current monthly deficit spending is more that 5 times that amount. 

Who knows which idea for next generation of energy is going to be successful?  Will it be solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, cold-fusion, chemical, fuel cells, ....., or something we have never thought of?  How are the central planners going to know which is most promising and deserves further research?  What if the so called experts guess wrong?  I can't think of a lot of recent government projects that have over delivered or come in under budget.

Sounds like a likely boondoggle to me.

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Re: Natural Gas to the rescue?

Here in the Netherlands we are a NG producer/exporter and a NG transporter across Europe. Here Ng is mostly seen als a way to quickly generate power when the solar/wind/tidal powerproduction is too low (due to being on the wrong side of the earth, no wind, etc).

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Re: Natural Gas to the rescue?

See Ethanol, Circa 2004.

Ethanol was going to solve all our problems. 
Now we're finding it damages fuel pumps, lines, degrades combustion, and has been snuck into the fuel supply deceptively.

The "cheap" alternative is in almost all our domestic fuel, which costs about a buck and a quarter more per Gallon than it did in 2005 and has the added advantages of taking from our food supply, and damaging our currently existing technology.

So many people seem to think that the "engine" is what has to be altered to runs our transportation industry - be they airliner, car, bus or UPS truck. The reality is that this is tantamount to saying if you changed out the human heart to run on coffee, we'd have a significantly more abundant source of circulation. There's far more to it. Modern cars can't use Ethanol effectively because they're made for explosive combustion - Ethanol doesn't combust, and adding it to the gas simply lowers the quality of the combustable material. Sort of like Taco Bell advertising "beef" that's cut with more soy and preservatives. It's not really beef anymore. It's a hodge-podge of low grade product designed to return more capital per capital invested.

I see no reason why this common approach wouldn't be used with any "alternative" energy source.

Natural Gas isn't going to solve our problems.
I asked Mike Pilat (a user here) about Solar privately one time, and his answer was (loosely paraphrased) "Use less energy."
The irony of this situation is that Solar and Wind do provide an answer - it's just not what the patient wants to hear. Tell someone who's obese that they need to watch their diet and exercise for 2 hours per day, and they're going to be thinking of Hydroxycut because that seems much easier than actually cutting back on their bad habits. 

Using less energy is the "solution", whether we like it or not. We're not going to have a magic solution appear - and thank God for that - if we did, it'd be squandered in the same way Oil was.

IMHO, the Elephant in the room is air transportation. 
We, as a culture, take for granted that Air transport moves humans and products so fast and effectively that trips that used to take 2-6 months, now occur over the span of a day or two.

When coupled with a just in time delivery system, this should be priority number one for anyone serious about averting food riots, shortages and famine. Again, like the energy situation, the only "viable" answer is:
Lower your expectations and get it locally.

Who wants to hear that?

Cheers,

Aaron 

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Re: Natural Gas to the rescue?

 

 Another advantage of the "demand less" rather than "produce more" mentality...

 

 it's personal, and immediately actionable.. and rapidly rewarded.

 

Production side, I have high hopes for thorium, but it'll take large amounts of capital and long time scales to arrive...

 reductions in energy usage... *I* can do *now*..  not easily, takes some strategic thinking.. but it's 100% within my own sphere of influence.

 Turn the thermostat down, use the oven more efficiently, put warmer clothing on, change lighting, change patterns of usage of appliances.. and I'm immediately personally rewarded... with lower utility bills.

 So ideas about how to stay warm using less energy are probably far more applicable to most of us, than discussions of potential ROI of solar vs nuclear.. interesting and important as those are.

 ie The micro energy debate, rather than the macro one.. cf: personal  frugality vs macroeconomic analysis of yield curves.

 

 

 

 

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Re: Natural Gas to the rescue?
goes211 wrote:
agitating prop wrote:

All the basic assumptions about the limits of true alternatives to nat gas and oil are flawed. The nature of the problem is political. There is no real political will to develop sources that challenge both the nuclear and oil (nat gas) oligarchic complex. Remove the source of the problem, provide a strong, well financed Manhattan Project like push into alternatives, and research and development will provide something within a decade. Easily.

Easily?   Spoken like a true central planner. 

If it is so easy and guaranteed to be successful, why is nobody doing it?  It is likely that TPTB have no interest in destabilizing the status quo, but surely some entrepreneur can see the 100's of billions of dollars to be earned if they find this holy grail.  Why are they not trying?   Is it because each try will will cost billions and only 1 of 100 will actually work?

At least in the example of the Manhattan Project, they were all working towards a single idea, nuclear weapons.  Also the whole Manhattan Project only cost $22 billion in 2011 dollars whereas our current monthly deficit spending is more that 5 times that amount. 

Who knows which idea for next generation of energy is going to be successful?  Will it be solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, cold-fusion, chemical, fuel cells, ....., or something we have never thought of?  How are the central planners going to know which is most promising and deserves further research?  What if the so called experts guess wrong?  I can't think of a lot of recent government projects that have over delivered or come in under budget.

Sounds like a likely boondoggle to me.

You betcha. Central planning got you the interstate highway system, put men on the moon, and was responsible for the Manhattan project. The internet originated in the military.  Yankee style central planning is anti-innovative but it doesn't have to be.That's the myth lovingly sponsored by the tiny 1% who ironically, receive all kinds of subsidies, kickbacks--you know, the "elite",  or in other words,  the socialists at the very very top.

Throwing money at anything where there might be a social good, is ALWAYS deemed a failure in the U.S.  It's become a kind of religious mantra and fave rave of people who have been heavily influenced by  propaganda. A centrally planned energy program wouldn't cut private industry out of the loop. It just might mean a whole gaggle of wild eyed science nerds get to take a crack at the huge federal pinata of tax dollars...and why not? Are dollars only ennobled when they are supporting some oily creep sitting on his yacht off Martha's vineyard, or the Grand Cayman's?

Change is happening now. RandR is going on and in a pretty big way. It just has to be given the muscle of a govt that actively supports it or doesn't stand in it's way, by pimping for the energy cartels.

 

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Re: Natural Gas to the rescue?

AP,

Don't forget that the central planning you mention was tax-payer funded iniatives. 
It was a representitive electorate acting as an executive body for socially supported iniatives that happened to have military or governmental necessity at a time when those efforts were popularly supported.

Let's not work our way too far into interpretation.
Central planning is not "responsible" for those benefits, it's a component of any leadership effort. 
Goes (And I'm not speaking for you) seemed to be speaking against the idea that all aspects of a society require central planning.

I agree, if so. Central Planning as a socio-political philosophy is cumbersome, and all the iniatives you mention poured money into the private sector in order to develop the technology needed to execute them properly. It wasn't the U.S. Army building roads... It was the U.S. civil sector. Your comment sort of distorts this - and you have a point. Spending for "social" programs have opposition here. That said, we still have social prorgams, so I'd also suggest you're exaggerating slightly saying they're "always deemed a failure in the U.S."

Many of them do fail, simply put. 
That said, that doesn't make them bad.

Just a few thoughts on a severely hijacked thread. 

Cheers,

Aaron

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Re: Natural Gas to the rescue?
agitating_prop wrote:

Are dollars only ennobled when they are supporting some oily creep sitting on his yacht off Martha's vineyard, or the Grand Cayman's?

Ahhh, spoken like the true socialist/Marxist or is it simpy envy?

I really don't understand how so many people on this site can talk about self resiliency, trusting in one's self, etc - then can turn around and claim that government is the solution to many of our largest problems.  Talk about hypocrisy.

How about we get the government out of the way so those that are actually innovative can work to solve some of the problems so we don't end up with more great "government picked" solutions like Ethanol.  There are a lot of great companies working on the energy problem, why do we need government?   Government is simply the middle man that confiscates money from it's citizens and then selects the benefactor for the funds based on political connections.  Let's get government out of the way and let individuals pick how to spend and what to invest in. I would much rather have thousands of people doing reseach and deciding how to invest their hard earned money than some bueraucrat picking a winner based on who happen to wine and dine them the best.

agitating_prop wrote:

It just might mean a whole gaggle of wild eyed science nerds get to take a crack at the huge federal pinata of tax dollars...and why not?

Because if you just hand someone a pile of money, yes they will come up with a solution, however was it the best solution? is it a viable solution? Whoever hands out the money is picking the winner versus letting the "free" market make the choices based on sustainability (yes that includes affordability). 

How many people treat what is given to them (money from the government) as valuable as that which they have to earn?  Simply handing government money (money confiscated from other citizens) to someone results in fraud, poor utilization, and sub-par results versus someone who is actually at risk.  Your NASA example is a perfect example of massively bloated wasteful orgranization. Yes, they do great stuff, but how do we know it wouldn't be done faster, cheaper and better in the private sector?  Just look at what the private sector has accomplished recently in this area.

The Manhattan project is not a very good example since there were non-cost/resource based motives.  Hmm, there's and idea, perhaps failure for those running government projects should be a capital offense, might result in a bit more care of taxpayer funds.  Of course, we might have a harder time finding those willing to step up to the place resulting in smaller government (an added benefit). Smile Perhaps that's what we are seeing occuring in the Middle East right now.

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Re: Natural Gas to the rescue?

 

Gotta chuckle at all these beneficiaries of corporate largesse. Bunch ‘o’ good guys just wanting to be creative to help us ordinary folk out with our day to day problems. Ain’t it grand. 

SpaceX at the hand of Tesla owner Elon Musk is indeed doing great things,  none of which would be possible without the front running efforts of NASA, who developed the material science, the technology, and virtually every other component necessary to allow space travel. Without these taxpayer investments, and associated capture of literally the best minds in the business, Elon Musk would still be playing with Pay Pal, his first $1bn company (oh, and he got a full boat scholarship to University of Pennsylvania) and the rest of the privatized rocket boys would be shooting off Estes model rockets made of cardboard.

I’m sure there are plenty of studies that show the ROI on the taxpayers NASA investment with respect to useable technologies converted to commercial use as a direct association with the space program of the ‘60’s. And not just Tang and Velcro. Laughing A really great example of public dollars providing incalculable technological benefit to its citizenry and businesses, done in an era when it was not blasphemy to suggest that such programs were not in fact sleigh rides to Swedish socialism. Not today, imagine the space race with Sarah Palin at the microphone, my what a difference a few decades makes.

But to be fair, in recent years NASA has lost its way, guided by shiftless and uninspired non visionary leadership, if we can really use such a term in polite company in reference to our politicians, fully captured by for-profit paymasters that have little use of such diversions such a space exploration, at least not till the heavy lifting is done and it’s time to swoop in and create a “competitive advantage” on the tax payers dime.

I don’t think NASA should do run of the mill payload launches, what for, this is old hat. Perhaps though, they could be deployed on an “Manhattan Project” energy mission, space mounted solar arrays transmitting on demand sunlight energy via RF to ground stations. Next generation battery designs for electric vehicles to use said electricity replacing a good bit of our fossil fuel usage with 24/7 high yield solar power. Let’s go crazy, how about nationalized unlimited solar power, you can just about hear the jackboots of the Commie’s marching.

But hey, I’m sure those corporate boys are just sandbaggin’, any day now the T. Boone Pickens, and the Musk’s of the world are going to save us with their neat and timely solutions based on privatization of previous (and never to be repeated) spoils of a country who once knew how to do things.

Nothing like having a blowtorch and watching idiots heating a can of Sterno with wet matches.

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Re: Natural Gas to the rescue?
agitating prop wrote:

All the basic assumptions about the limits of true alternatives to nat gas and oil are flawed. The nature of the problem is political. There is no real political will to develop sources that challenge both the nuclear and oil (nat gas) oligarchic complex. Remove the source of the problem, provide a strong, well financed Manhattan Project like push into alternatives, and research and development will provide something within a decade. Easily.

I suggest you read this [in its entirety]:

Conclusion

I was very sceptical indeed when I first read the pessimistic assessment of the very small prospects of renewable energy in an oil scarce future portrayed by Jim Kunstler in “The Long Emergency”. It is one of those things apparently so obvious when you think about it but hard to accept at first. However the inescapable conclusion is that the sum total of renewable energy capacity will never be much greater than that installed during this one shot age of oil.

It will rapidly become very difficult to keep operational as we move more into the post peak oil period. What can be made remain operational will be chiefly at a very local small scale and probably require much scavenging of parts and improvisation. A huge amount of thought needs to go in to how this might be achieved and to date this matter has received virtually no attention at all from an industry fundamentally locked into the hubris of gigantism and business as usual.

Systems like solar water heating and PV, with no or few moving parts, should be more long lived until they too become unrepairable. However large and complex systems, particularly in remote and environmentally challenging environments such as wind farms, especially off shore, will probably be early renewable energy casualties of the decline in oil supply.

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Re: Natural Gas to the rescue?
Damnthematrix wrote:
agitating prop wrote:

All the basic assumptions about the limits of true alternatives to nat gas and oil are flawed. The nature of the problem is political. There is no real political will to develop sources that challenge both the nuclear and oil (nat gas) oligarchic complex. Remove the source of the problem, provide a strong, well financed Manhattan Project like push into alternatives, and research and development will provide something within a decade. Easily.

I suggest you read this [in its entirety]:

Conclusion

I was very sceptical indeed when I first read the pessimistic assessment of the very small prospects of renewable energy in an oil scarce future portrayed by Jim Kunstler in “The Long Emergency”. It is one of those things apparently so obvious when you think about it but hard to accept at first. However the inescapable conclusion is that the sum total of renewable energy capacity will never be much greater than that installed during this one shot age of oil.

It will rapidly become very difficult to keep operational as we move more into the post peak oil period. What can be made remain operational will be chiefly at a very local small scale and probably require much scavenging of parts and improvisation. A huge amount of thought needs to go in to how this might be achieved and to date this matter has received virtually no attention at all from an industry fundamentally locked into the hubris of gigantism and business as usual.

Systems like solar water heating and PV, with no or few moving parts, should be more long lived until they too become unrepairable. However large and complex systems, particularly in remote and environmentally challenging environments such as wind farms, especially off shore, will probably be early renewable energy casualties of the decline in oil supply.

I was one of the few founding posters at Peak Oil Forums. I'm familiar with the bleak assessments and agree it's not going to be a cake walk, getting from point A to point B, in terms of transition.  But the wheels are going to come off the economy, long before the gas runs out. All those hungry hordes, restlessly casting about, will be appeased with QE3, QE4, etc..in the form of stimulus, make work projects, some of which will surely be vast Manhattan project style projects to create alternatives. This will kill several birds with one stone. I only hope that nuclear, nat gas and coal don't end up taking over where oil left off.

Kunstler appears to be congenitally predisposed to pessimism. He has a great sense of humour, is super clever, but alas, somewhat sour in his attitude. He even looks like he was weaned on lemons.

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Re: Natural Gas to the rescue?

 

There isn't enough natgas to replace oil. There is not enough coal to replace oil. There is not enough natgas and coal production to replace declining oil production. Refined oil energy is necessary for gas and coal production, for crying out loud! These are indisputable facts. Oil is increasingly harder to extract and world demand is increasing - so these half-thought out plans, of having viable alternatives (to oil), will continue to come like sparks on the Fourth of July. I guess this is natural, the high of an easy life is addictive. 

What I can also say for certain, the natural gas industry is delighted to have a higher demand (for gas) than supply. Please add up; if demand increased just 2% a year, at what year will the demand for natural gas have doubled? I don't think demand will go up 2%, I think it will double and triple within a decade, and more if the oil flow from the middle east ends. Then, let us discuss the earthquakes from fracturing the shale. So hurry, get those cars hooked up!

When we get to the point of incomes not able to keep up with energy costs, if you haven't  implemented a lower energy use lifestyle, you will be compelled to give up your unsustainable methods. Maybe you will move in with your relatives to share the cost. Then, there will be brown outs, black outs, and the pressure in the pipelines will be too low to make delivery (search keywords: New Mexico natural gas shortage). If you live where it gets cold, the house in which you live will get colder, but you will probaly blame the oil companies, natgas delivery systems, and the government for ripping you off - instead of yourself for not planning.

Start planning now and act on it right away. If you own a monster McMansion, well, your screwed, sorry. But if you are able, insulate and seal your house now. Then in order, if you have a woodlot, a woodburner, install a solar domestic water heater, a solar air heater, then photovoltaic. A wind turbine if you are able (look up your local NABCEP installers for quotes). Next build a solar greenhouse on to your house and start raising plants and fish. One book I would like to recommend is The Solar Greenhouse. There is a wealth of information in this book,  including how to supply a measure of heat even on cloudy days. If we take these measures, we will stretch out the remaining supplies giving us time to adapt, and just as important, supply jobs for Americans in the installation.

Stop believing others will supply you with all the energy you desire at a cheap price. Stop believing in the energy fairy. Stop now.

Start making your own plans for a comfortable future. 

Good luck. You are going to need it.

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from ODAC newsletter

Shale fever was also doused by a couple of other developments this week. Chesapeake’s sale of its Fayetteville Shale assets, as well as its equity investments in Frac Tech Holdings LLC and Chaparral Energy Inc., highlighted the difficult economics around shale gas in the US. And a recent report by Lazard Capital Markets stated that “We believe 2011 will be the breaking point, where producers run out of assets to sell to fund growth that is driven by spending 80 per cent more than discretionary cash flow. Natural gas E&Ps are living on borrowed time.”

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