Editorial: "The Other 27 Per Cent" And The Era of Easy Gas

Tim Haïdar

As the drillbits and dryholes screech out the end of Easy Oil, is it time to begin revelling in the era of Easy Gas?

Whilst we are burrowing several miles beneath the seabed at thousands of pounds per square inch in the quest for elusive hydrocarbons, it seems that anyone with a land deed and a dozen Olympic swimming pools-worth of water can hit pay-dirt at the frack pad.

Currently, 52 per cent of Planet Earth's daily consumption is expended on transportation - cars make up 25 per cent and planes, trains, trucks and ships the other 27.

That "other 27 per cent" is globally embracing and incentivising liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the extent that a thousand ship LNG fleet is possible by 2020 and the first LNG-powered commercial flight took place this year.

Heat and power generation, which in many countries is already fulfilled by natural gas, makes up a further 16 per cent of bpd consumption. So up to 68 per cent of global oil needs could be supplanted by natural gas, supply dependent, of course.

Yet even as oil becomes "too difficult", advances in nanomaterials may soon allow greatly enhanced oil recovery by reducing the adhesion of hydrocarbon molecules to rock, and nanoscale sensors are allowing us to interpret wells in a more acute way then ever before.

Nothing is set in stone. Not even oil.


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