• 5 minutes Mike Shellman's musings on "Cartoon of the Week"
  • 11 minutes Permian already crested the productivity bell curve - downward now to Tier 2 geological locations
  • 17 minutes WTI @ 67.50, charts show $62.50 next
  • 12 hours The Discount Airline Model Is Coming for Europe’s Railways
  • 1 day Newspaper Editorials Across U.S. Rebuke Trump For Attacks On Press
  • 18 hours Pakistan: "Heart" Of Terrorism and Global Threat
  • 5 hours Desperate Call or... Erdogan Says Turkey Will Boycott U.S. Electronics
  • 5 hours Venezuela set to raise gasoline prices to international levels.
  • 1 day Batteries Could Be a Small Dotcom-Style Bubble
  • 52 mins Renewable Energy Could "Effectively Be Free" by 2030
  • 17 hours Saudi Fund Wants to Take Tesla Private?
  • 1 day Starvation, horror in Venezuela
  • 18 hours Scottish Battery ‘Breakthrough’ Could Charge Electric Cars In Seconds
  • 1 day France Will Close All Coal Fired Power Stations By 2021
  • 1 day Don't Expect Too Much: Despite a Soaring Economy, America's Annual Pay Increase Isn't Budging
  • 10 hours Corporations Are Buying More Renewables Than Ever
WTI Set For Longest Weekly Losing Streak Since 2015

WTI Set For Longest Weekly Losing Streak Since 2015

West Texas Intermediate crude was…

Trade War May Push China To Russian Energy

Trade War May Push China To Russian Energy

As trade war tensions heat…

Methane Leaks Threaten the Future of Shale Gas

The development of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling has enabled a boom in the production of shale gas in the US. Supporters of the fuel make boasts about its cheap and abundant nature, whilst also claiming that it is good for the environment as it is a low carbon fuel compared to other fossil fuels.

The problem is that there are other side effects to natural gas usage that could actually negate the environmental benefits of its low carbon nature.

The main problem is that natural gas is mostly made up of methane, which is incredibly damaging to the environment, and little gas leaks that occur at every stage of the extraction, transportation, and processing phases, ultimately accumulate to pose a real problem, that over time could negate any environmental benefits.

Related article: Shale, Gales, and Tipping the Scales

Methane is considered to be 72 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, and whilst methane only represents about 10-12% of all US greenhouse gas emissions, the potency makes it a far more important issue, and one that must be addressed.

Fears exist that increasing the usage of natural gas around the country, such as switching cars and trucks from gasoline and diesel to natural gas, could create far more instances where natural gas can leak into the atmosphere. Methane makes up about 83% of shale gas when it is first extracted from the ground, but after processing that increases to 90%.

The World Resources Institute has made several recommendations that companies can use to reduce methane emissions from their shale operations.

By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News