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Energy / Natural Gas

  • This Week in Energy: ‘Russian Conspiracy’ Could Help Denton Frack Vote

    All eyes are on a small college town just outside of Dallas, Texas, whose claim to fame is three-fold: It is the home to the Barnett Shale; it is where hydraulic fracturing debuted; and now some fear it could be where fracking meets one of its greatest enemies, while conspiracy theories of Russian infiltration abound.On 4 November, the residents of Denton will vote in a local ballot on whether or not to ban fracking within the city limits, and there is a flurry of activity on this battleground that is not likely to end with the vote itself, but will…

  • The Untapped Potential of the Levant Basin

    The Eastern Mediterranean is an emerging region for natural gas development, and the resources underneath the seabed hold out the promise of an economic bounty to several small countries in the area.Some of the natural gas fields just recently began to flow, but the buzz began back in 2010 when a U.S. Geological Survey report estimated that the Eastern Mediterranean held 1.7 billion barrels of oil and 122 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Known as the Levant Basin Province, the natural gas deposits stretch from the waters just off the coast of Israel, north to Lebanese and Syrian waters,…

  • Innovation Needed To Provide Zero-Carbon Destination For Gas

    New Nature Piece Tells Us What We Already KnewUse of abundant natural gas across the globe will not “discernably reduce fossil fuel CO2 emissions,” concludes a new research letter in Nature, as increased use of natural gas can displace coal and zero-carbon sources like nuclear and solar. But, as their scenarios assume, if natural gas is the cheapest way to meet that demand growth, we shouldn’t be surprised by this result. A carbon price may help motivate us toward non-fossil sources, but such policies fall short. If natural gas is to truly become a bridge to somewhere, substantial innovation will…

  • Putin Threatens Gas Reduction To Europe

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has assured Western Europe that there won’t be any interruption of natural gas supplies from his country this winter unless Ukraine again tries to meet its own energy needs by stealing fuel from the pipeline running through its territory.“I can reassure you that there will be no crisis that could be blamed on Russian participants in energy cooperation,” the Russian leader said Oct. 16 during a visit to Serbia. He added, however, that “transit risks” are looming.“If we see that our Ukrainian partners, just like in 2008, begin removing gas without permission from the export pipeline…

  • No Shale Revolution For Europe

    It’s looking increasingly unlikely that Europe will be able to sever its reliance on Russian energy supplies by developing its own shale gas industry.For years, Poland has been regarded as the European Union’s biggest hope for developing indigenous sources of natural gas because it sits on large reserves of natural gas trapped in shale. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Poland has 148 tcf (trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas reserves and 1.8 billion barrels of shale oil. By comparison, Russia has an estimated 285 tcf of shale gas. Poland represents the European Union’s best hope at…

  • Should Europe Be Concerned About Russia’s Growing Energy Relationship with Asia

    Should the West worry about Russia’s growing oil and gas exports to the Asia-Pacific region? Michael Bradshaw doesn’t think so. While Vladimir Putin may want to shift his energy business from Europe to China, Gazprom needs Western revenues to build the desired pipeline infrastructure.The 30-year gas deal between Russia’s Gazprom and China’s National Petroleum Corporation (CNCP), signed last May, for the supply of 38 billion cubic meters (bcm) of pipeline gas from 2018 onwards, marks the culmination of a decade of negotiations. Last year it was announced that everything was agreed but the price. No doubt the West’s reaction to…

  • Petronas Threatens To Scrap Canadian LNG Terminal Over Tax Rates

    A major Canadian natural gas export project could be put on ice indefinitely if British Columbia doesn’t change its tax policies.That’s the threat from CEO of Petronas, the Malaysian government-owned oil company. Shamsul Azhar Abbas said that a multibillion dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal on Canada’s west coast would be put on hold if it didn’t get its way. Petronas is considering whether or not to build the US$ 32 billion Pacific Northwest LNG  (PNW LNG) export facility in British Columbia, but is unhappy with what it sees an unwelcoming provincial government. British Columbia has proposed a two-tier…

  • U.S. And Australia Chasing Qatar for LNG Supremacy

    Competitors in the global race to develop new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals have entered the final lap, and as it stands now, the United States and Australia are closing in on world-leader Qatar.While LNG exports from the Middle Eastern nation in 2012 represented a third of the market, that trend is likely to reverse in the coming decade. According to the International Gas Union, Australia is building seven LNG projects worth $200 billion, tripling its capacity to about 86 million tonnes a year, and by 2018 will overtake Qatar as the world's largest LNG exporter.The United States, however, is…

  • How An Unknown Industry Could Save Over $1.8 Billion In Wasted Natural Gas

    Can a little-known, fledgling industry make the oil and gas industry more efficient and a little less dangerous to the climate by tackling methane leakage? A new report offers a close look at the “methane mitigation industry.”The fracking boom has allowed natural gas to seriously threaten — and in many cases supplant — the dominance coal-fired power generation has held over America’s electric grid. Many people who care about climate change and air pollution have cheered this development because when burned, natural gas gives off less pollution, including carbon dioxide, than coal does.There are two problems with this narrative. The…

  • Central Asia Rues Dependency On Russian Fuel

    Weak links in Russia’s petroleum-refinery network and the Kremlin’s power play in Ukraine are shortchanging Central Asian petrol markets, importers complain. With alternatives expensive or unfeasible, and regional refining capacity severely limited, local energy executives are ruing Moscow’s traditional sway over the region’s petrol supply. Simultaneous repairs at key Siberian refineries that supply Central Asia, along with a major accident in June, have caused a spike in petrol prices in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, all of which source their fuel from Russia.In Tajikistan, the price for 95-octane petrol produced at Gazprom’s Omsk refinery rose 38 percent this summer. In Kyrgyzstan,…