Shale’s potential can be appreciated by a brief examination of the world shale oil and gas map, produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration and Advanced Resources International in May 2013, from which it can be seen that shale oil and gas formations occur on all continents. Also, the EIA and ARI study “Technically Recoverable Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources: An Assessment of 137 Shale Formations in 41 Countries outside the United States” of June 2013, ranks countries in terms of technically recoverable shale oil and shale gas resources. Here, Russia, the U.S.A., and China are ranked by the EIA in the first three places of technically recoverable shale oil resources, with 75 billion barrels, 58 billion barrels (or 48 billion barrels according to ARI estimates), and 32 billion barrels respectively. With regard to technically recoverable shale gas resources, the EIA ranks China, Argentina and Algeria in the first three places with 1,115 trillion cubic feet, 802 trillion cubic feet, and 707 trillion cubic feet respectively. ARI differs in its estimates placing the United States at number one, just ahead of China, with 1,161 trillion cubic feet.[spacer height=”15px”] Clearly, however, as the EIA indicates, there is a difference between what is technically recoverable and what is economically recoverable: costs, technology and market factors make, or don’t make, a resource economically recoverable; and any negative effects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on the environmental would also have to be brought into the equation
Algeria Algeria’s hydrocarbons basins hold two significant shale gas and shale oil formations: the Silurian Tannezuft Shale and the Devonian Frasnian Shale. The Energy Information Administration, Advanced Resources International, Inc (EIA-ARI) report World Shale Gas and Shale Oil Resource Assessment, June 2013, which analyses the Ghadames (Berkine) and Illizi Basins in eastern Algeria, the Timimoun, Ahnet and Mouydir Basins in centre of the country, and the Reggane and Tindouf Basins in the southwest, estimates that there are 3,419 trillion cubic feet of risked* shale gas in place with 707 trillion cubic feet as the risked, technically recoverable** shale gas resource. Six of these basins contain 121 billion barrels of risked shale oil and condensates in-place, with 5.7 billion barrels as the risked technically recoverable shale oil resource. Notes: *An adjustment to the total hydrocarbon in-place taking into account the current knowledge about the play, the quality of the data, and the current state of technology. **Calculated by applying a recovery factor to risked gas in-place. Varies between 15%-35% with most plays in the 20%-30% range. the country’s national petroleum company, Sonatrach (Société nationale de transport et de la commercialisation des hydrocarbures) has undertaken a comprehensive effort to define the size of its shale gas and shale oil reserves. Pilot wells are scheduled first for the Berkine (Ghadames) Basin, followed by test wells in Illizi, Timimoun, Ahmet and Mouydir basins. The international energy companies Statoil and Repsol have also undertaken geological and reservoir characterization studies of Algeria’s shales. Over the last year the country modified its hydrocarbons legislation to improve the investment climate in anticipation of a hydrocarbons licensing round in 2013. Sonatrach is expected to remain dominant in the sector, according to the report. Libya The EIA-ARI report considers three of the four major hydrocarbons basins in Libya: the Ghadames (Berkine) basin in the west of Libya, the Sirte basin in the centre, and the Murzuq basin in the southwest. The Kufra Basin in the southeast is not assessed quantitatively by the report. The first three of the basins mentioned contain 942 trillion cubic feet of risked shale gas in-place with 122 trillion cubic feet as the risked, technically recoverable shale gas resource. They also contain 613 billion barrels of risked shale oil and condensates in-place with 26.1 billion barrels as the risked, technically recoverable shale oil resource. Furthermore, according to ARI “(…) it is likely that future exploration will identify additional shale resources in other basins and formations.” In late 2012, the Chairman of Libya’s national oil company, National Oil Company (NOC), Nuri Berruien, announced that the company was examining options for the exploration of unconventional oil and gas resources, one option being to make an internal evaluation and then bring in international companies with expertise in unconventional exploration and development. Egypt Egypt has four basins in the Western Desert with shale oil and gas potential: Abu Gharadig, Alamein, Natrun, and Shoushan-Matruh. The largest horizon is the Khatatba Shale in the Middle Jurassic Khatatba Formation. ARI estimates that this Khatatba Shale contains around 535 trillion cubic feet of risked shale gas in-place with 100 trillion cubic feet of risked, technically recoverable shale gas resources. In terms of shale oil, ARI assesses that here there are about 114 billion barrels of risked shale oil in-place, with 4.6 billion barrels of risked, technically recoverable shale oil resources. South Africa
The United States is moving away from the necessity to import large volumes of natural gas for its domestic requirements. Over the last few years it has become possible to produce vast amounts of shale gas that was previously uneconomic to extract. Between 2007 and 2012, shale gas production in the U.S. rose from 1.3 trillion cubic feet to around 8.5 trillion cubic feet, and it now accounts for almost 35 percent of total U.S. gas production, a figure that is expected to rise to nearly 50 percent by 2030. (1) This contrasts with the situation that existed just a decade ago when natural gas production in the United States was in decline: at that time the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected that in order to keep up with rising demand the country would need to import 26 percent of its total natural gas consumption in 2020. The combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking,” has allowed drillers to release natural gas from shale reserves that had previously been uneconomic to exploit. According to the March 2013 analysis by The American Security Project, “The Geopolitical Implications of U.S. Natural Gas Exports” (2), the enormous production has resulted in a glut of supply and rock-bottom prices, and producers hope to relieve the glut of natural gas in the U.S. by exporting surplus production, taking advantage of higher prices around the world. However, the report points out the fact that under the Natural Gas Act, first passed in 1938 and amended several times since, the export of natural gas is illegal without approval from the Secretary of Energy.
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) has once again denied a permit for a pipeline slated to deliver much-needed natural gas to markets in the state. The Millennium Pipeline this week joined the Constitution and the Northern Access as the third major pipeline that has been denied permitting in recent years. The reality for New York is that it has a state energy plan that calls for the use of more natural gas, but at each turn continues to make it impossible to actually meet the demands of residents and businesses with its ban on fracking and denial of infrastructure permits. And with the recent announcement that the state will also close the Indian Point nuclear power plant, the state’s energy outlook could become even more dire.
On Friday, March 11, 2011, one of the largest earthquakes in the recorded history of the world occurred on the east coast of northern Japan. This earthquake also generated a major tsunami, causing nearly 20,000 deaths. Electricity, gas and water supplies, telecommunications, and railway service were all severely disrupted and in many cases completely shut down. These disruptions severely affected the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing a loss of all on-site and off-site power and a release of radioactive materials from the reactors. The leadership of the American Nuclear Society commissioned the American Nuclear Society Special Committee on Fukushima to provide a clear and concise explanation of what happened during the Fukushima Daiichi accident, and offer recommendations based on lessons learned from their study of the event. The American Nuclear Society, a professional organization of 11,600 nuclear science and technology professionals, has a strong tradition of advancing nuclear safety, and the Special Committee on Fukushima was organized to further its members' interests in this important professional obligation.
By Enu Afolayan King Mohammed VI switches on Morocco’s first solar power plant that is set to provide over a million homes with power. The edge of the Sahara desert, just 12 miles outside of the city Ouarzazate is now home to a glittering spectacle that is set to be the world’s largest solar power plant. After beginning construction on May 10th, 2013 the project has succeeded in completing stage one of its epic operations. Covering a spans the size of 35 football fields, the 800 rows of 500,000 crescent-shaped solar mirrors make up Noor I. This is the first of a complex of four linked solar power plants that once completed in 2018, will finally occupy a site larger than the country’s capital, Rabat, which is home to 1.4 million people. Instead of utilizing the more familiar photovoltaic panels that are now a common sight on rooftops around the world, ‘the door of the desert’ site uses mirror technology which despite being less common and more expensive, has the advantage of continuously producing power even after the sun has gone down.
India’s push for solar power is gaining steam. At the end of November, the country turned on the world’s largest solar power plant spanning 10 km sq in Kamuthi in the state of Tamil Nadu. It packs 648 megawatts of power—nearly 100 more than California’s Topaz Solar Farm, which was previously the largest solar plant at a single location. At full capacity, the Kamuthi plant can provide enough electricity to power around 150,000 homes. The Rs45.5 billion ($679 million) solar project consists of 380,000 foundations, 2.5 million solar modules, 576 inverters, and 154 transformers, according to the Deccan Chronicle. Each day, the plant is cleaned by a robotic system that is charged by its own solar panels, Al Jazeera reported. The Kamuthi solar plant, backed by the Ahmedabad-based conglomerate Adani Group, was constructed in an impressive eight months. In comparison, Topaz took over two years and cost nearly $2.5 billion to build. On the south Indian site, 8,500 men installed an average of 11 megawatts-worth of equipment each day to complete the project in time.
Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are a promising new way to produce electric energy directly from heat. But there is one remaining problem: the low efficiency. Today, TEGs can have efficiencies of up to 10%. The biggest challenge here is that we want the TEGs to have high electrical conductivity but low thermal conductivity. As you can see in the screenshot of the NakedScientists' video on TEGs, the used materials conduct charge carriers like electrons - which is what we need to get an electrical voltage at the ends of the material. But the materials also conduct heat - and that's not so good, because this thermal conductivity leads to a decrease of the temperature difference between the two ends and therefore decreases the efficiency of the TEG.
IT´S NO LONGER SURPRISING TO encounter 100-foot pinwheels spinning in the breeze as you drive down the highway. But don´t get too comfortable with that view. A Spanish company called Vortex Bladeless is proposing a radical new way to generate wind en
Outgoing US President Barack Obama has permanently banned offshore oil and gas drilling in the "vast majority" of US-owned northern waters. Mr Obama designated areas in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans as "indefinitely off limits" to future leasing. The move is widely seen as an attempt to protect the region before Mr Obama leaves office in January. Supporters of president-elect Donald Trump could find it difficult to reverse the decision. Canada also committed to a similar measure in its own Arctic waters, in a joint announcement with Washington. The White House said the decision was for "a strong, sustainable and viable Arctic economy and ecosystem." It cited native cultural needs, wildlife concerns, and the "vulnerability" of the region to oil spills as some of the reasons for the ban. But while Canada will review the move every five years, the White House insists Mr Obama's declaration is permanent. The decision relies on a 1953 law which allows the president to ban leasing of offshore resources indefinitely.