Patrick Meehan Jeb WaldschmidtENGL 102-053-26-05 Natural Gas and the Future of Energy Until recently natural gas was considered the dirty brother of oil. Natural gas was often stranded and left undeveloped, often wasting it. Oftentimes natural gas was considered 'unusable' and 'worthless' compared to oil. But now that the oil is running out a new light is being shown on natural gas. Today natural gas is very much in favor as a clean fossil fuel, especially for electricity generation in industrialized countries. "Global proven gas reserves are 5501 TcM with around 60 years of production at current utilization rates compared to 40 years for oil," writes Pradeep Kurup.
According to the latest numbers people could be using more gas than oil by 2030. According to Kurup, "that means an even greater incremental growth in both gas supply and transportation than the industry has seen up to date, with nearly 25% of all natural gas produced now crossing an international border." Natural gas is created from the anaerobic decay of organic material. You can find it in oil fields and natural gas fields and in most swampy or marshy areas. Natural gas is also generated by animals during digestion. Natural gas is primarily composed of methane which happens to be the lightest of the hydrocarbon molecules.
The other components of natural gas consist of heavier hydrocarbon molecules such as ethane, butane, and propane. Hydrogen sulfide and mercury are common contaminants, which must be removed prior to most uses. Natural gas is emerging as the most important energy source for the future because it has an abundance of uses and is found almost anywhere. The abundant supply of natural gas makes it a fine candidate to replace oil as the dominating source of energy.
A lot of people who freaked out when word about peak oil surfaced now can find comfort in natural gas. Most people probably don't realize that natural gas can not only be used as a replacement for gasoline but it can also be used to generate electricity through the use of both gas and steam turbines. A special "combined cycle mode" has been developed by combining both the gas and the steam turbines. On top of all of the facts I have already posted, natural gas also burns cleaner and thus more efficiently than other fossil fuels creating less greenhouse gases. Some people may argue that the process of converting natural gas into useful electricity is too pricey. Well, for now that is a fact.
But fuel cell technology may one day provide cleaner and more reasonable options for converting natural gas into electricity. Great strides have been made in the development of natural gas. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) along with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is used as a clean alternative to other automobile fuels. India is one of the countries with the largest number of vehicles running on natural gas. Different American companies have been working on cars that run totally on natural gas.
These cars are called hybrids. One of the companies that is having the most success is Chrysler. Natural gas is also used for domestic use in homes for stoves, grills, and even heating. Propane, although very dangerous, has been used for heating and cooking for a number of years. High-risk elements remain in pursuing successful strategies in the global gas industry. Oil companies today are dealing with high gas prices in the USA and rising prices in Europe.
Countries are now less reliant on long term gas contracts and are relying on spot and supply sales, mostly via pipeline. Demand for gas is increasing as well as concern over the security supply. In the case of countries like the USA and European countries and India, where indigenous supply cannot keep up with demand, gas being sourced from greater and greater distances, bringing together a mix of political, economic and technical risk. Natural gas is the future. People just have to accept that oil is going to run out and we are going to have to come up with something to replace it; and we did. As the gas prices keep on rising people's faith in natural gas is going to rise.
Places like Japan and China are already very natural gas dependant and are driving demand-supply imbalances. China is trying to raise the share of gas in the energy market from 2% to around 8% by 2010. Gas markets are fast changing, and though oil companies have structural advantages, assets and capabilities to enter and profit from the changing gas market, they have to invest heavily in building a vertically integrated gas business. This requires a huge capital expenditure and we may again witness some monopoly building up in gas business among a few huge corporations in the world. The idea of using natural gas as the energy source of the future was discovered by a couple of English scientists in 1989.
According to Prof. Sam Ejike Okoye, "the two men who claimed to have discovered the energy of the future were condemned as impostors and exiled by their peers." The men were exiled because it just seemed ridiculous that the oil supply would run out. Back then it probably seemed like the oil would last forever. If you would have told people back in the eighties that it would only be a matter of years before the oil supply ran out than you would probably be considered insane.
Gas markets are fast changing, and though oil companies have structural advantages, assets and capabilities to enter and profit from the changing gas market, they have to invest heavily in building a vertically integrated gas business. This requires a huge capital expenditure and we may again witness some monopoly building up in gas business among a few huge corporations in the world. In India the government only allows so much gas to be sold to a single person. This might happen to the US in the future. Just something to think about.
I can definitely see gas prices reaching 5. 00 a gallon by the year 2006. That is just crazy to think about. The oil issue may be one of the reasons that the twin towers were hit... It may be the reason that the U. S.
took over Iraq. You would think that if that was the case then oil prices would have gone down. But maybe this is just al about money like everything else. Maybe the government is hoarding oil and is just saying there is an oil crisis. Lots of questions, but not very many answers. Works Cited 1.
Energy for the future - Hydrogen and Fuel Cell industry sets out its blueprint. European Commission. 3-17-05 web 2. Swank, J. Grant Jr. Rice: India Upgraded with US RE Future Powers.
Mitch News. com. 3-28-05 web 7474. s html 3. Kurup, Pradeep. Why Natural Gas's the Future of Energy.
Times Internet Network. 3-28-05 web The Daimler Chrysler Website: web Okoye, Sam Ejike. Cold Fusion, the Unlimited Energy Source: A Myth or Reality? Nigeria World. 3-27-05 web.