Massive shale gas find in UK

November 17, 2011

In April, the Energy Information Agency assessed the global natural gas reserves.  At the time, it estimated that the United Kingdom held 9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of conventional natural gas, and up to 20 tcf of unconventional shale gas.  Recently, however, Caudrilla Resources drilled a series of test wells in north west England and has found as much as 200 tcf in a single shale play.  EIA best estimates, then, are off by at least an order of magnitude.   This reinforces yesterday’s post – there are enormous amounts of unconventional fossil fuels suddenly within reach.  The challenge now is to find ways to burn them more cleanly.  I agree with the renewable energy supporters who believe that technology will provide the answers to the twin problems of energy security and climate change.  I disagree, however, in that I believe that the technological effort is best spent in (a) extracting cheap and energy dense fossil fuels and then (b) finding ways to economically capture then sequester or utilize the resultant carbon exhaust.


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