Posted by Zoey Walden of Canadian Energy Research Institute
It is often called “fire ice”: Around the world, cage-like lattices of water molecules trap untold stores of methane gas. Petroleum engineers have been familiar with these frozen compounds—properly known as methane hydrates—for years, because they block the flow of oil in pipelines. The effects of methane hydrates were highlighted in 2010, when British Petroleum’s attempts to halt the flow of oil after the Macondo well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico were complicated by the formation of methane hydrates that kept clogging pipes and valves.
What exactly is “the cleanest liquefied natural gas in the world?”
It’s a hypothetical fuel that leaders in British Columbia, Canada, have repeatedly promised to deliver in an effort to build public support for their proposed LNG industry. But while it sounds clear-cut, it’s proven a tough nut to crack.
New report highlights loss to taxpayers from gas wasted on public land.
In oil-rich North Dakota, gas flares dot the landscape like city lights, torching natural gas that the industry won't use. The burning flares are a hallmark of a booming U.S. oil industry in which natural gas, a valuable energy source itself, often becomes a waste byproduct of drilling.
Now, the cost of flaring—in lost energy resources and potential revenue from federal land in North Dakota and other western states—is increasingly drawing the attention of government officials and interest groups.
In an effort to cut dependence on coal and to reduce pollution, Chinese authorities have been encouraging use of more natural gas. China relies overwhelmingly on countries in Central Asia to procure that gas. But as China deepens its energy ties with Central Asia, it may face a predicament that it has not faced yet: regional border disputes that may cause supply disruptions.
Natural gas emits significantly less carbon dioxide than either coal or gasoline when burned, but its ability to help reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions has been questioned. In the latest contribution to the debate, a study published this week by Duke University researchers concludes that switching to abundant shale gas as an energy source is unlikely to be much help in addressing climate change, unless it’s only one part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce emissions.
Proposed projects would move oil, gas, and coal through the ecologically sensitive marine area.
Trains loaded with crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken shale formation rumble past the outfield bleachers of the Seattle Mariners' baseball stadium several times a week. From there, the trains head north, their cargo destined for multiple refineries in Washington State.
Solar, wind, natural gas, and planning help stave off energy crisis for parched state.
California's record drought has parched crops, but hasn't yet dimmed lights or choked the flow of electricity, even though the Golden State, with more than 300 dams, has long been a hydroelectricity leader among U.S. states.