Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
The newfound abundance of natural gas carries with it a few main issues, some good, some bad, which I abbreviate as follows:
1) Good news: It holds the potential to lessen the cost and environmental impact of our energy consumption for at least the short term.
2) Bad news: That lowering of costs will make the R&D (more…)
Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
Economics, politics, grid constraints, and a fair amount of luck have set in motion an awkward relationship between the natural gas and cleantech industries that could be characterized as “frenemies with benefits.” My colleagues Kerry-Ann Adamson and Mackinnon Lawrence have already shared their views on this complex dynamic, and their outlooks (more…)
Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
I just read the Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac and noted that it’s the birthday of May Swenson, an author of the 20th Century who once wrote to a friend, “Not to need illusion—to dare to see and say how things really are, is the emancipation I would like to attain.”
It’s true that we force-fit the facts into our theories. (more…)
Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
A new study estimates that fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region can migrate into underground drinking water supplies far more quickly than experts have previously estimated.
The study, based on computer modeling and funded (more…)
Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
A planned shale gas drilling project in New York state would utilize a waterless form of hydraulic fracturing, a new technique designed to reduce the potential pollution associated with the controversial natural gas drilling process.
Rather than using typical hydraulic fracturing (more…)
Friday, March 30th, 2012
With escalating shale oil production putting the US on track to become the world’s largest oil producer, investors are challenging an increasingly common industry practice – burning off or ‘flaring’ associated natural gas from shale oil wells – as environmentally damaging, economically wasteful and a threat to the industry’s bottom line. (more…)
Thursday, March 29th, 2012
The fracturing of shale rock formations associated with the drilling process known as fracking might undermine future attempts to store carbon dioxide underground, according to a new study.
While many have called carbon storage a promising solution to reducing atmospheric levels of (more…)
Monday, March 12th, 2012
Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson says that a drilling method that has made vast natural gas resources accessible across the U.S. has been unable to crack some shale rock formations in Europe and China.
Speaking to energy analysts, Tillerson said two attempts to tap gas-rich shale fields in Poland through (more…)
Thursday, January 19th, 2012
The sheer abundance of recently discovered natural gas resources in the U.S. could drive down gas and electricity prices in the next few decades, yield an overall increase in energy use, and stunt the nation’s still-emerging renewable energy sector, a new report says.
Using economic modeling, researchers at the (more…)
Friday, January 6th, 2012
This is the second part of my blog on produced water (you can read the first part here) which will look at the market – the players and technologies – in some more detail.
Produced water is a term used to describe the wastewater that’s brought to the surface during the (more…)