Skip to comments.Natural gas under Gulf may be too much of a good thing
Posted on 01/16/2010 5:47:11 PM PST by smokingfrog
The prospect of yet another new frontier for U.S. natural gas development, this time in super-deep wells beneath the Gulf of Mexico's shallow waters, is not all good news for Houston's energy sector.
A big uptick in output from the emerging region predicted this week after announcement of a major discovery there would clearly signal new life for the heavily explored offshore region. But it could also boost already swollen U.S. gas supplies, weaken prices and keep producers on the sidelines.
Such a scenario is unlikely to play out in the next year or two, given the time needed to develop the complex wells. But within three to five years, if output materializes and gas from other sources keeps rising, it adds one more brick to the natural gas wall of worry, said David Pursell, a managing director with local investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities.
It could be meaningful to U.S. supply in a time frame when we really don't need more additions to supply, he said.
A team led by New Orleans' McMoRan Exploration Co. said this week it made one of the biggest discoveries in the Gulf's shallow waters in decades.
The claim was based on results from a well, drilled in 20 feet of water to a depth of more than 28,000 feet, that found a 135-foot column of petroleum-rich rock at the Davy Jones prospect.
Additional drilling will be needed to confirm the well's true potential, but the team said the early results suggest, even beyond Davy Jones, there is plenty more oil and gas to be found in the deeply buried layers of sediment.
(Excerpt) Read more at chron.com ...
.... so is this good news for consumers, bad news for producers, or former President Bush’s fault?
Sad thing is, we’ll end up burning it instead of using it for chemical purposes to help our industry.
Some amazing things happen when we drill.
If there is suck a glut why is gas so damned high priced.
They keep telling us there is tons of it and yet it is expensive.
We would not to anger of “allies” the Saudis who control Washington DC, London, Brussels and a few othe plawces plus most of the policticians, environmentalists (yes it’s true) and others who want us to not drill.
Someone on FR in another thread was telling me how the Saudis are our friends and allies. Yeah like Lucifer is. The Dems keep putting land in the USA into “national parks” to help their paymasters the Saudis.
the solution to oversupply is to make things that currently run on oil — run on gas.
Hell, they had plans for nearly 500 wells in my home county in North Texas, leased everything that wasn’t nailed down, built a new pipeline, had water wells and water weenie trucks everywhere, and then the price of oil dropped back down to a more reasonable level, and they stacked rigs, laid people off, and shelved plans all around. We’ve got huge resources on the mainland they’re not using.
There is never too much energy available. And if we have to use “fossil fuels”, then natural gas is IMMEDIATELY available, relatively easy to transport (now that the infrastructure is in place), and may be applied to a wide range of productive facilities. As a standby for additional electricity generation, natural-gas fired turbines driving power generation dynamos can come on line about as fast as they can get spooled up, something that nuclear power and most coal-fired steam plants cannot do. Even hydro power does not respond as fast, as it takes a while for the surge of water from the dam to get to the dynamo. Natural gass fired turbines also have the virtue of being placed closely enough to the point of power consumption, there is less need of stringing sometimes hundreds of mile of high-tension lines. Less distance the power is transmitted, the more power is available for consumption per unit of fuel burned.
As a home heating fuel, natural gas beats heating oil just about any way you can think of, again with ease of distribution (just pipe it in and turn open the valve), and in quantity it is still relatively cheaper and more reliable on the delivery than heating oil.
As a motor fuel, natural gas is about the cleanest burning fuel that can be put through an internal combustion engine, with NO significant carbon deposits and a much cleaner exhaust. It even works well in Diesels, no soot and minimal odor. It does have the disadvantage of not being a liquid at normal ambient temperatures. Natural gas liquefies at minus 160 degrees Celsius, and until somebody can come up with a “freeze ray”, liquified natural gas as a motor fuel will not be an option. Natural gas would work just fine in a stationary unit.
There is a minimal fraction of natural gas that includes butane and propane, both of which can be and have been used as motor fuels with relatively simple handling techniques, as they both are liquids under pressure at normal ambient temperatures. Some forty years ago, propane was so cheap as a fuel, it was widely used in powering agricultural machinery, but fell out of favor as most of the farm machinery was powered by Diesel, using the cheap distillates from petroleum that were not good enough for gasoline.
If gasoline was just coming on the market now as a fuel for automobiles, it would no doubt be banned because of the inherent dangers of handling gasoline. Over the years, sufficient precautions have been built into the production, storage, delivery and dispensing of gasoline, that most, not all, of the objections to its use have been overcome.
It keeps renewables out of reach.
We should convert gas to liquids or have buses, cars, trucks use NG.
All the more reason to move toward using the tried and proven multifuel technology to build a fleet of vehicles in the US that can run on either natural gas or gasoline.
I drove a natgas / gasoline work truck back in the early 80’s in SOCAL....
If you want jobs and you want prosperity and you want less debt use our lands and our oceans to produce jobs and the things the world needs.
Our leaders have their head stuck up the man made global warming ass and we have to save the polar bears don’t you know.
Since the free market is a dynamic as compared to zero-sum (static) venue, as long as it is free, it will always clear. Thus the only thing that counts is price, and the price is never too high for the producer and never too low for the consumer. In fact, low prices will signal that less money is to be made than used to be the case. Big deal.
? That would be doing even more damage and decreasing efficiency more.
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