The story of U.S. natural gas gets referenced a lot but you may not know whats going on. Here are 15 charts that tell the story of the U.S. natural gas market which has been completely changed by the rise of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
In the past few years, new technologies and cheaper costs allowed producers to access gas trapped in parts of the U.S. previously considered unreachable.
Without realizing it, U.S. drivers are competing for American-made gasoline with consumers in Latin America and Asia, where demand is rising. “Americans don’t think about their prices being impacted by a global market,” says Morse. “The American public just thinks about the rising price at the pump.”
For the first time since 1995, the U.S. will likely produce more oil than it imports. That’s great for the country’s trade balance, but the benefits of all that cheap domestic crude still haven’t shown up at the one place it matters most: the gas station.
Unconventional treasure: Shale gas is trapped deep inside rock formations.
Shale gas is a new and abundant source of natural gas, trapped in rock formations. Oil companies have known about it for decades but always dismissed it because it was too expensive and difficult to extract.
In the past few years new technologies that pump water underground to fracture the rock and free the gas have been perfected. The breakthrough has opened a new frontier for the energy industry and turned long-held assumptions about the world’s dwindling supplies on their head.
via Shale gas blasts open world energy market on Propurchaser
If you have ever wanted to understand changes in your suppliers’ electricity costs, you might find this U.S. federal government website useful. It identifies regions and ‘hubs’. The best news is that pricing for most hubs is free and a matter of public record.
I came across this interesting discussion of the Great Climate Disconnect courtesy of General Electric.
GE has asked the members of its Citizenship Advisory Panel to reflect on trends and key challenges for sustainable development in 2013. This first post by Nick Robins tackles the gap between climate change risk and ambition.
The year ahead will be dominated by growing tension between ever-stronger evidence of climate change and the inadequacy of the global policy response.Drought in the USA in 2012 highlighted the vulnerability of commodity prices to intensified weather risk, and 2013 is set to be another year of above-average global temperatures. But global greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to rise, putting the world on track for overshooting the 2ºC “safe” target and ending up in a 4ºC world.
When considering the greening of any supply chain it is easy to ignore the impact of warehousing and distribution centres.
Transport miles are often shown to potential consumers, but what about the environmental cost of storage?
Gasoline prices currently average nearly $4 per gallon nationwide. Rising U.S. crude production may seem like an attractive antidote, but it is proving ineffective on its own at a time when the world’s appetite for energy remains voracious and Middle East tension is a reminder that supplies could be disrupted.
U.S. crude production is expected to rise 12% this year and 8% in 2013, when it will hit the highest level since 1993, according to government figures. The price of West Texas crude, the U.S. benchmark, has fallen 7% this year, held down by rising supplies from new drilling methods.
Demand for natural gas has not kept up with the phenomenal growth in supply. Thats indicated by the extremely low current price and the thousands of recently developed unconventional natural gas wells that are shut-in. Unconventional natural gas production from “dry” wells those that dont produce useful petroleum liquid products is at a virtual standstill.
This signals that some recovery in North American natural gas prices is likely—to the range of $4 per thousand cubic feet, perhaps—which would be welcomed by producers. Consumers who heat their homes with gas, and chemical companies and other manufacturers who rely on this raw material for producing petrochemical and polymers, should enjoy several decades of abundant supply.
Ethanol production last week fell to the lowest level since the US government began tracking the data in June 2010 because the excessive heat and drought prompted plants to run at reduced rates.
In normal times, it’s said that up to 40% of the US corn crop is converted into ethanol which is then fed into cars. When the crop slumps this proportion is likely to rise. For a drought and a shortage of corn is not going to do much to change driving habits.