Column: This is the Century of Natural Gas

From BOE Report

Terry Etam

The headline above is not designed to make young heads explode, It’s really not. But it might. 

Before getting to why that might be, consider why the headline is a credible statement. The evidence is, in total, overwhelming.

Here’s a 2023 headline from an anti-hydrocarbons website: “China, India lead US$534 billion global gas pipeline build out.” The article notes that globally, over 59,000 kilometres of transmission pipeline are under construction and an additional 151,000 kms are proposed (for reference, the earth’s circumference is 40,000 kms). 

That’s just the growth, and that’s just the bigger transmission lines. Natural gas pipeline distribution systems are made up of large transmission lines and then smaller distribution systems. I have not been able to find a statistic for the combined length of the total global distribution system, perhaps none exists, but consider the U.S.’s pipeline system characteristics: The U.S. has over 300,000 miles of natural gas transmission lines, and about 2.2 million miles of smaller distribution pipelines – the ones that get gas to customers. 

Those numbers, and particularly that ratio, give some examples of the staggering size of the global natural gas infrastructure system. And natural gas is used almost everywhere.

According to a gas infrastructure tracking site, about 130 countries in 2022 either have existing natural gas pipeline systems or have some in development.

Perhaps the most pertinent aspect of the 130-country statistic is that 103 countries as of December 2022 are developing natural gas transmission pipelines, with a total length of 210,000 kms, or more than five times the earth’s circumference.

You may read in the news that net zero 2050 is upon us, and that the fossil fuel industry is in terminal decline, full of stranded assets that will be made obsolete in a few decades because of the sheer will of governments and a very boisterous cheering section.

Yet the world isn’t acting that way at all. The U.S. is undergoing an LNG expansion boom, one that isn’t too scared of stranded assets – according to SP Global, in 2022 there were 23 LNG offtake contracts signed with a term of 20 years or greater. Another nine were signed with terms from 15-20 years. 

These contracts are backstopping what is expected to be a 15 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) expansion of the U.S.’ LNG export capability within the next decade. Canada will eventually add a significant amount to that tally, as will Mexico. 

That’s the western world. Here’s what Africa has to say: This is from the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, of which many members are African: “Unfortunately, the issue of African energy access has rarely been reported or prioritised, despite African energy consumption per capita being the lowest globally. In light of the need for a secure, affordable, and sustainable energy source to fuel economic growth and alleviate poverty in Africa, all the available energy options will continue to be relevant…the abundance of natural gas and the proven efficiency of combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) in power generation make it a suitable complement to renewables in Africa’s just transition plan.

The continent’s primary energy demand is expected to increase by 82 per cent from 860 Mtoe in 2021 to 1,565 Mtoe by 2050 (Figure 5). Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to account for 84 per cent of this growth amid higher living standards, signaling better access to energy and improvements in the energy poverty problems. Natural gas will be responsible for around 30 per cent of Africa’s total energy demand increase.”

Here is a list of countries that have, in the past few years, either built or are planning to build, LNG import terminals (source: articles like this and this): Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, and Puerto Rico, and Germany.

The following countries have called for support of Africa in pursuing natural gas development (and long-term gas displacement by renewable energy and green hydrogen “if financially and technically feasible”): Kigali, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. 

The following countries are looking to be LNG exporters by the end of the decade: Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria, Mauritania, Congo, and Equatorial Guinea. 

Global LNG demand is expected to nearly double by 2040. 

All in all, those statistics point towards a pretty robust future, no?

The global natural gas business is exploding, with a clear trajectory of growth for at least the next few decades, backed by both contracts and new infrastructure. That infrastructure won’t be abandoned in 20 years, or 30, or 40. Look at coal, which was supposedly the fuel of a distant century, and global consumption of that stuff is at record levels.

Rapid gas development has been happening for at least the past 15 years; Russia’s antics have accelerated it in every part of the world where countries are trying to avoid consumption of Russian hydrocarbons. 

Russia’s war simply accelerated some facets of what was happening regardless. 

Hey, I get it though, the general population does not care about natural gas all that much, not until they pay a whopping utility bill anyway. 

But aside from that, why is booming natural gas development a story worth making the average citizen pay attention?

The fact is they simply have to, because, as mentioned at the outset, the title of this article might be enough to send a good slice of our youth into the darkest of depression or the wildest of rebellion. 

They – the youth of today – have been taught and terrorized and tormented that fossil fuel usage is accelerating us towards Armageddon. They have thunderously been assured that they have no future whatsoever unless hydrocarbon usage ceases immediately. 

The news is full of stories like this: “As climate changes, climate anxiety rises in youth.” The article includes some horrifying stats: In a 2022 study of 10,000 people from around the world, “59 per cent of youth and young adults said they were very or extremely worried about climate change and more than 45 per cent said their feelings about climate change negatively affected their daily life and functioning.”

Kids have always been terrified of the weather, with good cause – when you’re ten years old, the thought of experiencing a flood or fire or tornado is fairly close to as bad as it gets.

Now, the narrative is vastly worthwhile for youth, because they’ve been told, hey kids, you know all those weather events that cause terror in your little hearts? Well, they’re getting worse, they’re going to be inevitable, and they’re YOUR FAULT. YOURS AND YOUR PARENTS AND ALL YOUR STUFF.

Actually, that’s not quite true – the kids are told that the actual culprit are the industries that provide the fuel that causes CO2 emissions. That includes the coal, oil and natural gas industries, lumped together as fossil fuels because it fits so much better on the chest of a villain’s costume than getting all hydrocarbon-technical.

But kids aren’t idiots. (You may well know an exception here or there; I won’t deny that they exist.). They know that the cushy lives most of them lead here in the West have to come from somewhere, that travel has a footprint, that the life they know includes a lot of consumables and throw-away crap and waste. On average they’re not Greta’s, and they’re also not Paris Hiltons. 

But they are, as the youth poll above suggests, gravely concerned about the climate because almost every authority figure in their lives assures them they should be terrified, and that there is little hope of living an entire life to the standard they’ve known thus far. 

They also can read, and all the natural gas stats quoted above are available for viewing online, anytime (some things are really hard to censor). 

They can see how people live, and how people want to live, and how three-quarters of the world’s population would do anything to have the lifestyle we do in the West. They can see the amount of fuel burned every day to make their lives so comfortable. They can see the challenges of building out renewables as a replacement; if old enough, they have seen several decades worth of accelerating renewables spending, trillions of dollars around the world, while at the same time they can readily see that global demand for oil, natural gas, and even coal are all at all time record highs.

So what happens when some genuinely terrified yet curious teenager finds out that the whole world is rushing madly towards a fuel they’ve been told will kill them all? What are they supposed to do then?

Here’s a hopeful path forward. 

Someone will start changing the narrative, pointing out the obvious that natural gas can reduce the emissions profile in many countries that currently burn far dirtier things. Africa currently relies to a sadly great degree on burning dung and wood; it’s not a big stretch to point out that natural gas will be superior.

Relatively simple (and achievable) pathways such as increased LNG fuelling of big trucks will clean up emissions profiles of certain large industries like trucking.

On a larger scale, large natural gas consumers will start capturing and sequestering CO2 at scale, and natural gas combustion with CO2 sequestration by definition meets any sane person’s definition of low emissions energy. 29dk2902l

One of the biggest current knocks against natural gas usage is methane leak emissions. A lot of progress is being made to rectify that issue; new technology is making leak-spotting easier, and at the end of the day, a leak is a leak – it can be fixed.

On the horizon are new technologies, new ideas with vast potential. One such is hydrogen created from natural gas at the point of use, a technology being pioneered by the likes of Innova Hydrogen, Aurora Hydrogen, Ekona Power, and Monolith Corp. This technology could dramatically change emissions profiles, and, crucially, what will be rocket fuel for this industry is the fact it can utilize much of the existing natural gas infrastructure.

It is profoundly absurd to try to envision an energy transition that does not maximize the existing system of millions of kms of pipelines and infrastructure, particularly when advocates of something else are proposing as a solution something that they have no clue as to how to build.

Wouldn’t it be far better to be filling kids’ heads with positivity, and constructiveness, and point out where we can make things work better, rather than scaring them into therapy and wiping out their hope for any sort of future?

Energy conversations should be positive and, most of all, grounded in reality. Life depends on it. Find out more in  “The End of Fossil Fuel Insanity” at, or Thanks!

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May 30, 2023 6:17 am

The extent of global NG, (sans oil and coal) by itself, should give a myriad of generations every reason to be optimistic and full of dreams of the future. Our energy future is secure with a super abundance of NG globally. Now is the time to get off the dystopic bandwagon and let human civilization do what it does best solve problems, elaborate, innovate, adapt and grow.

There is no need to dive into a dystopic and draconian austerity revolution with a premature transition away from hydrocarbon fuel which is doomed to fail. Focus on the innovative battery and electricity storage tech, and leave consumers alone. And when the tech is ready, sell it to us in a commercial format that will empower our home economies off grid and not the global megalomaniacs.

May 30, 2023 6:44 am

Post says:”Someone will start changing the narrative,…”

Agreed! Let’s start by pointing out that natural gas is not a fossil fuel. Otherwise fart lighting would not be funny to kids. Talk about how WV is more potent gas and they don’t want to get rid of water.

William Howard
May 30, 2023 7:08 am

there is a lot better chance that all the windmills & solar farms will become the stranded assets as the subsidies dry up

Reply to  William Howard
May 30, 2023 7:36 am

I doubt that the windmills and solar panels will be stranded assets. Their lifetimes are 15 years so they will be abandoned trash heaps littering the landscapes. 30,000 of these piles of litter will soon be littering Germany’s beautiful countrside with falling blades and leaning pylons.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Mason
May 30, 2023 8:41 am

Wind Europe say 65GW of Europe’s onshore wind turbines will need upgrades or replacement by 2028.

This comes at a time when the wind industry in Europe has told the politicians that they simply are unable to produce the volume of turbines required for planned new sites by 2030.

Reply to  Mason
May 30, 2023 8:42 am

It could be a salvagers new dream industry.

Reply to  William Howard
May 30, 2023 8:55 am

I think it’s already happening. Renewable tech put the cart before the horse (viable electrical storage system) and the horse never showed up. Such a waste of taxpayers money, I am sure people made a lot of dough but at our expense.

Even in Pennsylvania, solar panels equaling the square footage of my roof could supply all my energy needs including my car If:

1) there was an affordable viable electricity storage system that could store it and distribute electivity on demand like a SCMES.

2) If both the storage system and the solar system were trouble free, affordable and had a half life of 25 years not 7.5. The dream system is nothing but a dream… but it is a good dream only if it provides me cheap energy. All chicken littles do is deform our markets and economies.

For the world to complete it’s development and for the American economy to have a deep foundation of growth, cheap energy is absolutely necessary. Until the SIFI future, NG is it.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  JC
May 30, 2023 11:20 am

Even in Pennsylvania, solar panels equaling the square footage of my roof could supply all my energy needs including my car If: …

In typical suburban housing tracts, with a NS-EW road orientation, only 1/4 to 1/2 of the homes will have a suitable south-facing roof to serve as a base for solar panels. Typically, that will only be half the total roof area. In the Midwest, trees on the property will reduce the availability of sunlight in the Summer, and snow will similarly reduce sunlight in the Winter.

In city apartments, or even apartment buildings in suburbia, the available roof area doesn’t come close to being able to meet the electricity demands of all the renters.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
June 1, 2023 8:41 am

Hey Clyde,

Agreed, it would work for me (if a next gen battery existed) but it wouldn’t work well in urban areas and many other places. So even with a truly viable Next Gen Battery, solar is not a panacea. I think solar should be viewed apolitically as just one of many potential future energy inputs even if the future is indeterminate. I know tax payors have been sold a bill of goods regarding solar…. but the evil was not the energy input, it was the ecco shysters.

Kevin Kilty
May 30, 2023 7:15 am

Well, yes it may become the century of forced use of natural gas only because we, collectively, could not make rational choices about the fuel most suited to a particular task. Forcing natural gas to do all the energy “lifting” may make it become the century of acute natural gas shortages or very high prices. Time will tell.

Reply to  Kevin Kilty
May 30, 2023 7:41 am

When I first started working, we were converting all our plants to heavy oil because natural gas was too valuable a raw material to be burned in boilers. At the same time the combined cycle gas turbines were coming online. These were significantly more efficient than any other technology for making electricity and steam. Then cogen came along and the heat sink gobbled up waste heat from these units that would have gone to the atmosphere. And then Mitchell perfected fracking and gas was overabundant. The effect has been amazing. And remember we can always dig out the coal should the natural gas ever starts tailing off. We only have a few centuries of coal reserves.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Mason
May 30, 2023 9:11 am

Re coal, in Dec 22 the IEA published ‘Coal 2022 Analysis and forecast to 2025.’

In 2000 coal use worldwide was 4669 Million tonnes (Mt) in 2022 it was expected to be 8038Mt ( China 4250Mt, India 1103Mt, Other Asia 898Mt, USA 465Mt, Europe 478Mt, ROW 831Mt)

In Aug 22 coal powered generation in China increased by around 150% year on year to over 500 terrawatt hours (TWh). This monthly level of generation was higher than the total annual coal power generation of any other country, except India and the US.

China accounts for more than half of global coal demand. Its power sector alone accounts for one third of global coal consumption.

India’s coal consumption has doubled since 2007 at an annual growth rate of 6% and coal production is expected to rise to over 1 billion tonnes by 2025.

Indonesia is the world’s third largest producer and exports are expected to be larger than domestic use by 2025.

Kevin Kilty
Reply to  Mason
May 30, 2023 11:27 am

You are missing my point. Sure, we can dig out the coal, but coal is a lower quality fuel than natural gas. Natural gas can be delivered by pipeline, it can provide clean space heating, cooking, clothes drying and it is a great chemical feedstock. I think it unwise to deplete it by making it balance solar and wind which is what will happen because pumped hydro and batteries are not feasible in the quantities needed. As a peaking fuel to balance so-called renewables its efficiency is very low 20% even.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Kevin Kilty
May 30, 2023 12:57 pm

I think it unwise to deplete it by making it balance solar and wind”

At present, it is used 24/7 to generate electricity. Gas use is reduced when the wind is blowing or the sun shining.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 30, 2023 5:27 pm

This means that gas plants have to depart from efficient, steady burning to costly up and down because W&S have been allowed to gatecrash a neat engineering setup.
Where is the benefit?
It reminds me of present reductions in speed limits on our roads because some planners hate cars. Are we on a path of return to a person with a red flag walking ahead of each car?
I have had a gutful of red flag inspired ‘solutions’ like W&S interfering with my life, with their common theme of a return to some imagined earlier idyllic life style. Windmills, FFS? Cars limited to 30kph?
Geoff S

Kevin Kilty
Reply to  sherro01
May 30, 2023 6:00 pm

Indeed, Geoff S. Rather than heat our homes directly with natural gas, which most of us in the Northern regions and high elevations do, the Federal government is going to push all electric heating. Heat pumps at times and electric resistance heat at others. Some might be powered with wind or solar when available, but which will be powered maybe 2/3 of the time by burning natural gas at 50% efficiency (or maybe clear down to 20% depending on scheduling) to make the electricity. It’s a bit of what I mean by making natural gas do all the lifting.

Then we are going to use natural gas to make blue hydrogen. More nutty ideas than you could find in an asylum.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  sherro01
May 30, 2023 6:15 pm

This means that gas plants have to depart from efficient, steady burning to costly up and down”

They don’t have steady burning. There has always been a big daily variation in demand, and the gas plants were the ones to switch on and off to accommodate it.

Kevin Kilty
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 30, 2023 5:50 pm

I don’t know what is wrong with you. You feel a desperate need to weigh-in when you don’t seem to know anything. Reduced? yes but hugely so. Up and down by 5,000MW, that is +/- 50%, each day here in the Northwest You make it sound like no big deal. Peaker plants fire up when needed. They aren’t very efficient because of unsteady use. CCGT plants prefer to run at steady pace just as do coal and nuclear. If you’d bother to look at gas-v-solar the correlation is -0.82 here in the Northwest. Coal+gas+hydro do the same for wind. It would be impossible to run wind and solar without combustion and hydro.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Kevin Kilty
May 31, 2023 2:30 am

Reduced? yes but hugely so.”

You’re missing the point. You are concerned about saving gas for better things. Good. My point is that wind and sun, as presently run, do save a lot of gas. Geoff too protest about the inconvenience of starting up and stopping, but that is never quantified relevant to the obvious savings of not paying for a lot of gas.

But my point is that we do that now, all the time. long before W&S, demand fluctuated throughout he day, by up to 50%. Something had to adapt to that. And they did.

Here is a plot from of UK generation during a week in 2010. No renewables, hardly any imports. It was all gas (blue) and coal. Note how they all had to halve and double their output as demand varied through the day.

comment image

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 31, 2023 4:21 am

We once employed a PhD mathematician named Tony. Tony did the mathematical calculations of perturbation of the natural geomagnetic field by the effect of bodies with one or more types of innate magnetism, so that he could calculate the geometry and disposition of the perturbing mass. That way, we found new mines including one that raised us to number one global Bismuth producer (mainly for treatment of French cooking excesses) plus a lot of Gold and Copper..
Tony had difficulty communicating much apart from math. He did not understand much more than math. If I asked him what he thought of a general topic, he would not say anything until he found pencil and paper, on which he started with a triple integer notation.
Tony had valuable mathematics skills, far better than mine, but he was hopeless with practical matters around him. He helped us to find new mines, but he had never seen one until we ordered him to go forth to see and understand his employment industry more widely.
Nick, need I continue?

Geoff S

Reply to  Kevin Kilty
May 30, 2023 5:17 pm

It is easy to stockpile large amounts of coal at the consumption point and have a steady drawdown. It is hard and costly to store a big heap of gas. Geoff S

Reply to  Kevin Kilty
June 1, 2023 2:59 pm

Kevin, I agree. CCGT is the most efficient way to use gas to produce electricity. Topping turbines are the most inefficient way to produce electricity. That is what the backups of these solar and wind generators use. Overall, very inefficient.

Reply to  Mason
May 31, 2023 6:32 am

The question I have is whether natural gas – coming from fracked oil wells – experiences the same decline as the “oil” does. A huge reason why natural gas is so abundant in the US is because of the fracked oil wells also throwing off natural gas. But the fracked “oil” declines rapidly… I use the term “oil” because fracked oil is really the lightest parts of regular oil. Or alternately the heavy parts of natural gas.
Thing is – why the boom in LNG exports is real, that spike is heavily dependent on there being enough excess natural gas in the US to keep prices down. If the supply/demand equation changes – it will be interesting to see whether export bans come into play politically.
Last note: Natural gas was a regulated industry until the late 90s (?). The consumption/production numbers exactly match up until around 2000. In the middle to late 2000s, there was actually a structural shortfall of natural gas consumption vs. supply which the fracked oil situation reversed.
So as you can see, the supply curves for fracked oil are probably the biggest question regarding natural gas in the US going into the future. DUC and rig activity don’t seem very promising.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Kevin Kilty
May 30, 2023 8:10 am

Good points! Nat gas is an excellent chemical feedstock and, due to its clean-burning properties, an excellent choice for residential space heating. And while it’s eminently useful for following peak load demand in power generation, its use as a base-load fuel should be limited in deference to coal, which can only be cleanly burned in much larger facilities. Of course, basic economics should actually dictate the use of all fuels, but I’m afraid our current carbon madness is driving us to over utilize natural gas for power generation.

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
May 31, 2023 6:57 am

Yes, and that carbon madness is the real problem. The current CO2 level is at only 4/100ths of one percent of atmosphere and has only increased by 1/100th of one percent in the past sixty-two years. Try graphing that.

Reply to  Kevin Kilty
May 30, 2023 10:31 am

Who is forcing anyone to use natural gas? Electrical generation works with any input…NG, oil or coal, nuke, fusion..

Finally, there is a super abundance of Natural Gas globally… it won’t run out. If prices go up it will because of political and cartel leveraging not lack of supply.

Eventually, the question of hydrocarbon fuels, electrical storage systems will be a moot issues. Odd’s are that Fusion will become viable within 100 years or less…. centuries before there will be any concern about NG being in short supply.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  JC
May 30, 2023 10:45 am

If I was younger, I’d place bets- I’d bet fusion will be feasible in 30 years. Yes, I know, it’s always another 30 years, but what’s different now is the net zero laws. Whoever solves the problem will be the next billionaires.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 30, 2023 11:24 am

Microsoft is betting it will be viable much sooner than that. They are, as the say goes, “putting their money where their mouth is.”

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 30, 2023 11:26 am

I haven’t heard about that. What’s their interest?

Richard Page
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 30, 2023 12:18 pm

Not sure about fusion. Last I heard was Bill Gates and Warren Buffett had teamed up to start building SMR’s.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 31, 2023 4:20 am

interesting- though I couldn’t read much of it without paying- MS has plenty of money to make such an investment- I think if I had a few billion to invest, I’d do the same

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 1, 2023 3:06 pm

This is a pipe dream. There is very little likelihood that they will wver produce electricity from fusion. But it is a good PR play, spend a few million to keep the environuts at bay.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 1, 2023 8:52 am


I wonder which will come first, Fusion or a truly viable and cheap Next Gen Battery or SCMES? Fusion is a grid focused energy input that would not require storage. Fusion doesn’t change the basic grid paradigm and would give us every reason to to quickly modernize it. This makes it far easier to sell with giant big bucks quickly coming on line.

Yet a great new battery or storage system is needed to power robots and cars to fully leverage the benefit of Fusion and for the era of hydrocarbon fuel to coming to an end.

The necessary breakthrough for all-temp superconductivity and solving the energy density issue of SCMES is no where in sight.

Fusion is clearly on the horizon, the future of SC and SCMES is very unclear. And there is nothing in the Battery R&D pipeline to get really excited about.

Kevin Kilty
Reply to  JC
May 30, 2023 11:31 am

You have missed my point entirely or you haven’t paid attention. The Federal government is forcing everyone to use natural gas in the short term, and eventually require a transition even away from it if they can.

Reply to  Kevin Kilty
June 2, 2023 9:57 am


Feds “forcing everyone to use natural gas”. I was unaware of this. Please send a citation. I can’t find it even in the ESG articles but I have not done a strenuous search yet. Maybe I have missed the obvious because I haven’t been paying full attention, if that is the case please accept my apology.

We are not currently being forced to us natural gas in PA.

Your point that NG would run out does not add up given the amount of recoverable NG in the US and everywhere else. Markets can cease to function due to market deformation related to regulations like ESG. but also market algorithmic collusion and the narrative management of information about global hydrocarbon supply.

The irony is that there will remain a superabundance of recoverable NG in the ground long after all the battles over hydrocarbon fuel energy markets is over. Eventually, in the indeterminate future, tech advancements will turn make the entire issue moot.

Transition to NG turbines for electrical generation is a no brainer since it’s cheaper and more efficient especially in a two and three tiered system, (Turbine drives generator, Heat from Turbine drives steam turbine to drives generator and then a heat exchange system..

What I see is Biden unveiling political smoke screens (Gas stove ban, banning off shore and public land fracking and drilling, (which is pointless since there is already plenty of gas on private lands),). the signaled optics to the Rad green crowd that Biden is on their side, while allowing NG to LNG to be exported at record levels. We seen the same sort of green hypocrisy smoke screening with Canada’s Trudeau allowing huge exports of Oli Sand Oil….. him calling it the “Green Oil”. Money talks and BS walks.

Politicizing any energy input past, present and future is a shell game in the global fight to control hydrocarbon fuel markets and retain super high profits when hydrocarbon fuel availability is in super abundant supply.

Energy inputs are what they are and their use should be market driven….we will never see that happen in our life times. It’s all about control because that is where the big money is.

I would love to convert my car or buy a CNG car because CNG is 1/2 the price of gasoline….makes sense right. but regulations have caused a severe limitation on accessibility to CNG filling stations. Meanwhile, I can go to my Local Giant food and fill a EV for free, if I am willing to hang around for 5-7 hours. LOL

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Kevin Kilty
May 30, 2023 10:41 am

it’s a big planet, more will be found

Richard Page
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 30, 2023 12:20 pm

Try having a look under the UK – plenty there, hardly been touched!

Steve Case
May 30, 2023 7:22 am

“One of the biggest current knocks against natural gas usage is methane leak emissions.”

One of the biggest lies in the climate change narrative is the Global Warming Potential (GWP) numbers used to paint methane as having a stronger greenhouse effect than CO2. Commonly it is said to be 86 times more powerful than CO2.

The GWP numbers use CO2 as a standard. If the GWP numbers used water vapor as a standard. Pound for pound, methane would be millions of times more powerful at trapping heat than water vapor.

Reply to  Steve Case
May 30, 2023 9:55 am

Not sure how your calculating your “millions of times” claim.

Steve Case
Reply to  mkelly
May 30, 2023 7:09 pm

I’m not sure either, but if methane doubles i.e., increases ~2ppm, and runs up the temperature about 0.3°C and water vapor increases from about 2.5% to 2.5002% Uhm well maybe when my head clears tomorrow I’ll figure it out. But I’m sure it’s a big number, way more than 86.

Steve Case
Reply to  Steve Case
May 31, 2023 2:15 am

Were the GWP numbers based on water vapor and not CO2, methane would have a GWP of around 4,000 times more powerful at trapping heat than water vapor. That’s assuming water vapor as being responsible for 50% of the greenhouse effect of 33°C.

Whatever the number is, it’s large, and shows the ridiculous premise the GWP number are based on.

May 30, 2023 7:31 am

On the horizon are new technologies, new ideas with vast potential. One such is hydrogen created from natural gas at the point of use, a technology being pioneered by the likes of Innova Hydrogen, Aurora Hydrogen, Ekona Power, and Monolith Corp. This technology could dramatically change emissions profiles, and, crucially, what will be rocket fuel for this industry is the fact it can utilize much of the existing natural gas infrastructure.

Why do you want to create hydrogen from gas at all, let alone at the point of use? Why not just use the gas?

Premium Cracker
Reply to  michel
May 30, 2023 2:00 pm

There is a lot of talk about producing different color hydrogen in Europe, Australia and even the US. What no one ever explains though is what exactly they are going to do with it.

Tom Abbott
May 30, 2023 7:40 am

The current bill in Congress to extend the debt limit also contains a provision greenlighting the natural gas pipeline that Senator Manchin was wanting, and was promised by the Democrats in an earlier bill, but then it didn’t happen, making Senator Manchin very unhappy.

I’m wondering who put this provision in the bill. Was it the Democrats trying to mollify Senator Manchin, or was it the Republicans trying to bring Manchin over to their side?

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 30, 2023 10:43 am

Regardless of who put the provision in, I wouldn’t trust the current administration to honor it. To me, this agreement is just another “w” for the Globetrotters over the pathetic Generals.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
May 30, 2023 3:18 pm

Yeah, I’m surprised it’s in there.

May 30, 2023 7:56 am

I see no need to capture CO2

Kids are being indoctrinated – that’s a very different thing to being educated

David Pentland
Reply to  strativarius
May 30, 2023 8:11 am

The mantra goes “climate change is real, man made, and dangerous.”

TE seems to agree, and offers alternate suggestions for mitigation… carbon sequestration, hydrogen power.

Catastrophic Climate Change! Mountain or molehill? Mitigate or adapt?

Even among the “deniers” there is no consensus.

Reply to  David Pentland
May 30, 2023 8:28 am

I don’t describe myself as a denier – the climate has and always will change.

I am disinclined to participate in the Malthusian project

Steve Case
May 30, 2023 8:06 am

“On the horizon are new technologies, new ideas with vast potential. One such is hydrogen…”

Please stop suggesting ways for the Climate Zealots to solve their “problem”.

There isn’t any problem. A warmer world with more arable land, longer growing seasons, more precipitation, plus CO2 greening of the planet does not constitute a problem. Besides that, all the claims of increasing this or decreasing that have always happened or have been happening right along. And the polar bears are still here.

May 30, 2023 8:37 am

It’s definitely the century of insanity

“”Just Stop oil pressures Labour to repeal new anti-protest law hampering its ability to block roads and cause chaos: Eco-zealots blast Keir Starmer’s support for ‘dictator-friendly’ legislation after handing his party £1.5million “”

Reply to  strativarius
May 30, 2023 10:35 am

Funny…. lot’s of rad green yap about hydrocarbon fuel but money talks and BS walks. If labor won’t do it AI will sad but true. It’s time for the Rad Green movement to retreat, they had their heyday during the pandemic, not it’s time for the rest of us to get on with life.

May 30, 2023 9:02 am

The real question is: Can it be called a nonbinary molecule and get endorsements?

May 30, 2023 9:08 am

“You may read in the news that net zero 2050 is upon us, and that the fossil fuel industry is in terminal decline, full of stranded assets that will be made obsolete in a few decades because of the sheer will of governments and a very boisterous cheering section. Yet the world isn’t acting that way at all.” It’s all virtue signaling to keep the alarmists thinking they’re being effective. Thankfully letting the alarmists believe fossil fuels are in the decline is nothing more than diversion tactics by the industry to keep them off their backs. You don’t need to be a genius to understand fossil fuels are the life blood of modern civilization.

PA Dutchman
May 30, 2023 9:27 am

I will wait for fusion, it’s right around the corner. The experts have told us / sarc I will any FF that performs the job and at a competitive price.

PA Dutchman
Reply to  PA Dutchman
May 30, 2023 9:28 am

will use

May 30, 2023 9:32 am

“They – the youth of today – have been taught and terrorized and tormented that fossil fuel usage is accelerating us towards Armageddon. They have thunderously been assured that they have no future whatsoever unless hydrocarbon usage ceases immediately.”

Which is why older people need to remind them of doomsday predictions made 40 or 50 years ago with “deadlines” in the past, which have come and gone without any climate-related disasters. Especially the circa 1970 prediction about the world starving to death in the year 2000, but food production has increased to satisfy the demand, partially due to more CO2 in the air. Or the prediction that the North Pole would be ice-free by 2012–didn’t happen. Or that half of Florida would be underwater, while beachfront real estate is booming.

If the doomsayers from 40 or 50 years ago couldn’t predict what is now the past, why should we (or current teenagers) trust current doomsayers to predict the future?

“One of the biggest current knocks against natural gas usage is methane leak emissions. A lot of progress is being made to rectify that issue; new technology is making leak-spotting easier, and at the end of the day, a leak is a leak – it can be fixed.”

Natural gas production companies have a financial incentive to fix methane leaks–why let saleable product go to waste?

As for leak detection, the property of methane that makes it a “global-warming gas” (absorption of infrared) makes it easy to detect in the air using FTIR (Fourier Transform Infra-Red) detectors.

“Relatively simple (and achievable) pathways such as increased LNG fuelling of big trucks will clean up emissions profiles of certain large industries like trucking.”

If we want to convert large vehicles such as buses or trucks to natural gas, LNG (liquefied natural gas) is not the most efficient way to do it. It takes much more compression energy to refrigerate natural gas to a liquid than it does to compress it so that it can be burned as a vapor at ambient temperature. Also, an LNG tank on a vehicle would have to be extremely well-insulated to prevent heat from the environment from re-vaporizing the LNG and building up pressure in the tank. What would be needed is a network of natural gas refueling stations manned by well-trained personnel in handling natural gas under pressure, and ensuring that no leaks occur during refueling.

“On the horizon are new technologies, new ideas with vast potential. One such is hydrogen created from natural gas at the point of use, a technology being pioneered by the likes of Innova Hydrogen, Aurora Hydrogen, Ekona Power, and Monolith Corp.”

Hydrogen production “at the point of use” is routinely practiced by petroleum refiners, via steam-methane reforming, in order to obtain hydrogen for desulfurizing petroleum distillates. This method works well for situations where hydrogen is needed as a reactant for a chemical process, but it is not efficient if the hydrogen is only used as a fuel.

If the goal is to burn a fuel for its heat release, direct burning of natural gas (mostly methane) yields more net energy than converting it to hydrogen and burning the hydrogen, with the same net CO2 emission. On a volume basis, burning natural gas yields about 3.3 times more energy than burning hydrogen at the same pressure.

One of the major advantages of natural gas not mentioned in the article is the fact that it produces less CO2 emissions per unit energy than other hydrocarbon fuels, and about half as much CO2 as coal. It also emits much less real pollutants, such as SO2 or nitrogen oxides or particulates, than petroleum distillates or coal.

May 30, 2023 9:58 am

Questions that must be answered:

  1. How much energy is required for all the people on earth to maintain their current standard of living? Show your work.
  2. How much energy will be required for all the people on earth to maintain their current standard of living for the next 50 years? Show your work.
  3. How much additional energy will be required over the next 50 years to bring all the people on earth to the same high standard of living? Show your work.
  4. Where will this energy come from? Show your work.
Reply to  rovingbroker
May 30, 2023 10:54 am

Maintain their standard of living? In case you haven’t been following the Progressive/Marxist narrative the goal is to reduce the West’s standard of living and level it out for the rest of the world to raise theirs. It’s euphemistically referred to as “wealth redistribution” which translated means take from those that earned it and give it to those that didn’t. Control of energy will allow them to accomplish it.

Reply to  rovingbroker
May 30, 2023 11:13 am

Do you own work!. The information is available on the net but be careful with proven reserve numbers…. they are a market smoke screen. Try to find the MIT Marcellus shale estimates of recoverable natural gas deposits. The report is 2010 and it’s a bit old now. Since then, recoverable NG reserves have been found around the globe. Brazil has a ton of gas but are doing nothing with due to a deal with Putin in 2014. They are no longer reporting their recoverable natural gas resource and it’s not being counted but in 2010 it was considered to be almost as large and the USA.

So yeah what you’re asking requires a lot of thought and research. I did all this research for myself in 2010 and again last year and I think I have responded to post with some of the data I accumulated. My research convinced me that their is a super-abundance of recoverable natural gas in the world enough the power the globe at our current rate of energy consumption for hundreds of years….not counting oil or coal.

In 50 years, hydrocarbon fuel and electrical energy storage systems may be a moot issue with the advent of fusion power. If that happens, all are your questions are moot.

In less than 25 years, electrical storage and generation innovation may increase energy efficiencies by a factor of 5 or more with renewables becoming viable form of
electricity generation.

The current fertility trends indicate a strong possibility that the population will stop growing in 50 years or less. Many of the high consuming countries with the lowest fertility rates will be depopulating and importing labor long before the end of your 50 year timeframe thus potentially reducing energy consumption.

The last thing the Malthusian rad green movement wants is to see the under-developed world develop for fear of increasing human population. Their deformed austerity plan seeks economic redistribution to the under-developed nationals but not capital investment. They want them to have enough money so that all can own a smartphone

For the rewilder’s this makes since. In the last 20 years or so the logic of human fertility has been turned on it’s head. The more developed and affluent the lower the fertility rate and the inverse. (it has been the exact opposite more resources more children less resources less children). The less development and the less affluence the higher the fertility rate. Right now the bulk of the nations with replacement fertility rates are poor under-developed nations. The Malthusian rad greens want to depopulate the world so they need to ensure everyone has enough money to own a smart phone. Smartphone use and fertility rates ae negatively correlated. Maybe due to biological implications of the electronic device but better yet they make relationships difficult and are very good at narrative management and propaganda

Reply to  JC
May 30, 2023 12:59 pm

Counting methane hydrates there are thousands of years of energy waiting to be used.

Reply to  mkelly
June 1, 2023 10:51 am

Thanks…. I have read reports on recoverable NG and did the math and it turned out to be thousands of year.

I doubt human civilization will burn even 1% of the total amount of the earth’s hydrocarbon fuel availability in the future.

We live in an interesting time… Human civilization is on the brink of developing and consumerizing every country on the planet. The fight is already underway at many levels.

Clyde Spencer
May 30, 2023 11:29 am

One of the biggest current knocks against natural gas usage is methane leak emissions.

The ‘problem’ is seriously overstated:

May 30, 2023 11:49 am

Good article in general but just a couple of points:

Kigali is not a country but the capital of Rwanda.

Creating H2 from CH4 is a waste, and only appropriate if one actually needed the hydrogen specifically and not as a replacement for the perfect fuel that is methane.

Edward Katz
May 30, 2023 2:41 pm

Articles like this should be properly publicized by the mainstream media. Except they’re too busy accepting donations from the climate alarmist organizations like the Greenpeaces, Sierra Clubs, Environmental Defenses, etc. to downplay or ignore such information because it refutes their assertions that we’ve already reached peak fossil fuels and should be gung-ho about embracing renewables regardless of how unreliable they might be.

May 30, 2023 5:06 pm

Gas networks make a lot of sense.

There is a degree of duplication between electricity grids and gas networks.

Process industries that require process heat often make use of waste heat to generate electricity and are essentially self-sufficient for heat and electricity. In some cases they can export to the electricity grid and usually need grid connection for black starts.

Co-generation technology is now available for residential and commercial use using natural gas as the fuel. Panasonic is the leader in the field with their Ene-farm, which has been in residential use since 2009 in Japan. The 2013 model:
So water heating and electricity production are combined. The fuel cell runs on hydrogen separated from the NG. Overall efficiency is better than a HELE coal plant.

This is the sort of technology that would enable developing countries to leap-frog current developed countries but it relies on having good gas distribution.

A feature of gas networks is the inherent storage in the network. Storing the gas in reservoirs is reasonably efficient as well.

In Victoria, Australia there are incentives to get off gas. Despite the State still sitting on substantial gas and lignite reserves, there was a ban on onshore exploration until 2017 and fracking and coal seam gas extraction are banned. So the least cost option for energy is not even on the table.

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