Friday, 8 April 2011

Shale Gas to the Rescue?

As you know I've been writing a reasonable amount about shale gas and its potential to impact any putative decline in conventional oil production. Here's an interesting graph:

You will note two things.
1. The global resource of recoverable shale gas is some 5,500 trillion cubic feet (as compared with the nearly 900 trillion cubic feet to be found in the US.
2. With the exception of China (who though they are a competitor, they are not as outright hostile as some of our other competitors) most of the shale gas reserves are to be found in "friendly" nations.

Also: given that the US has been able to bring online the shale gas equivalent of about a million barrels a day of oil in the last two years by itself, it's reasonable to argue that globally, shale gas could bring online about to five million barrels per day equivalent each year.

That should about cover us for a 5% decline rate in the best possible scenario whereby we can do a smooth transition for appropriate uses to natural gas.

I suspect, however, that between increasing demand for energy and friction costs of moving to oil alternatives for appropriate use cases (such as long distance trucking or shipping), we're still going to see a bumpy ride, though perhaps not quite so bumpy as a total collapse as predicted by our doomer friends.

Maybe it's time to short sell the guns n ammo manufacturers?


Barba Rija said...

Considering 5.5 thousand trillion of cubic meters of gas, divided by ~5800 cubic meters of gas (the official BOE meter) we have that the current shale gas *exploitable* reserves (a number that can only go up with new technology) is equivalent to a trillion barrels of oil.

This is not decorative. This is huge.

And consider more. Consider that out of the study that revealed these new numbers still rest possible gas giants, like Russia, the entire middle east and most of Africa.

So the "real" number may well go north of 10 thousand trillion of cubic meters.

Here's another graph, for enlightenment issues, and general "dieoff" debunking. You just have to look to the graph and dismiss this all nonsensical fear to the trash where it belongs:

Yeah, it's that mindboggling.

Peak Oil is a problem for the oil industry. Not to the human race.

Jimi said...

I just wonder how bad the "in between" period will be

you wrote earlier that by the 2020tes we would start to see demand destruction, thats not so far in the future so how bad can it get? ;)

Jimi said...

Our natural gas reserves does indeed seem large, which can only be a good thing

We should remember though, that the 5% decline rate that our blogger-friend operates with represents an extreme (often thrown around by our doomer friends) while the more realistic decline rate is expected to be about 2% (unless his stance has changed, which I somewhat doubt :) )

In other words; things aren’t as dark as the dommers wants us to think, on the contrary; considering the phase with which new technologies have evolved over the last few years alone, the transition will not only be smooth but perhaps even unfelt

Titus Pullo said...

I can pretend there's a zillion barrels of oil behind the moon. Doesn't mean there's any indication I can bring it to market. Technically recoverable reserves are not proven reserves. Never mind the devastating affects hydraulic fracking has on the environment. But then, if our fossil fuel addiction trumps clean drinking water, we deserve everything we get.

That's 87 million barrels per day and growing of global appetite. Even a fraction of that from "shale gas" to supplement our gluttony? Wow, that's a whole lot of mini earthquakes beneath U.S. neighborhoods. Good times.

DB said...


Stop Americans from driving big trucks that get 14 mpg then dumbass.

Jimi said...

Indeed, its sad how so many people like to spit in the face of solutions without giving alternatives themselves...

May we one day be free of the doomers amongst us...though they will most likely find something else to cry about