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The Natural Gas Revolution: At the Pivot of the World’s Energy Future

Book Description

Robert W. Kolb reveals how new gas resources are transforming the global energy industry, redistributing economic and geopolitical power in stunning ways. Kolb’s The Natural Gas Revolution explains the new promise of natural gas to stimulate economies and enrich human life — and objectively assesses the major environmental risks that accompany fracking, horizontal drilling, and today’s massive new LNG infrastructures. He places natural gas in broader context, clearly and carefully explaining what it will really mean to global economics, geopolitics, investors, the environment, and consumers. He explains the key technologies that have enabled access to huge new natural gas sources, and illuminates the remarkable implications of larger, more widely distributed, and more environmentally-friendly hydrocarbon resources. You’ll find thoughtful and objective answers to questions such as: Will natural gas permit a more orderly transition to solar and other renewables? Will “fracking” and horizontal drilling poison the aquifers cities depend on for clean drinking water? Will “fracking” increase earthquake risks? Next, Kolb explains how the natural gas revolution is roiling world energy markets, predicts their response to today’s wild price imbalances, and identifies surprising implications — for example, a potentially faster transition to cleaner transportation. He concludes by identifying nations and regions that may achieve unexpected energy independence from current suppliers — and even become exporters. This book will be indispensable to anyone interested in the latest developments in energy, international relations, and global business: citizens, investors, and policymakers alike.

Table of Contents

  1. About This eBook
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Praise for The Natural Gas Revolution
  5. Dedication Page
  6. Contents
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. About the Author
  9. Preface
    1. A Note on Energy Values and Conversions
  10. Plates
  11. 1. To the Brink of Innovation
    1. World Energy—A Rapid Tour of the Past 200 Years
    2. Hydrocarbons: From the Beginnings to Maturity
    3. A Rude Awakening
    4. U.S. Oil and Natural Gas at the Turn of the Millennium
    5. Notes
  12. 2. They Call It a Revolution
    1. The Early History of Natural Gas
    2. The Creation of Oil and Natural Gas
    3. The Basics of Extraction, Production, and Completion
    4. Hydraulic Fracturing
    5. Horizontal Drilling
    6. Contrasting Conventional and Unconventional Gas and Oil Production Techniques
    7. Unconventional Gas Resources and Production in the United States
    8. The U.S. Position in Natural Gas
    9. World Natural Gas Resources
    10. Notes
  13. 3. Liquid Natural Gas and the World Gas Revolution
    1. Creating and Shipping LNG
    2. The LNG Industry
    3. The LNG Infrastructure Today
    4. The Potential for Exports of U.S. Natural Gas
    5. LNG Pricing and Markets
    6. Notes
  14. 4. Environmental Costs and Benefits
    1. Water Supply
    2. Fracking Fluid
    3. Hydraulic Fracturing and Aquifers
    4. “Produced Water”
    5. Air Quality and the Industry’s Carbon Footprint
    6. Physical Effects at the Earth’s Surface
    7. The Social Dimension
    8. Conclusion: From Coal to Natural Gas or from Natural Gas to Coal?
    9. Notes
  15. 5. The United States and China
    1. Energy in the United States and China
    2. China’s Shale Gas Resources
    3. Energy Imports for China and the United States
    4. The Geopolitical Dimension of Energy Imports
    5. The Shale Gas Revolution and the Future of Energy Geopolitics
    6. Notes
  16. 6. The World’s Other Large Economies
    1. Japan
    2. The Eurozone Economies: Germany, France, and Italy
    3. Russian Federation
    4. United Kingdom
    5. India and Brazil
    6. Conclusion
    7. Notes
  17. 7. The Other Contending Nations
    1. Iran, Qatar, and Iraq
    2. Central Asia and Turkey
    3. The “Quiet Exporters”
    4. Poland and Ukraine
    5. Australia
    6. The Eastern Mediterranean
    7. Mozambique and Tanzania
    8. Argentina
    9. Conclusion
    10. Notes
  18. 8. The Next Energy Revolutions
    1. The Shale Oil Revolution
    2. The Bakken Play
    3. The Eagle Ford in Texas
    4. The Monterey Shale
    5. The Tight Oil Effect
    6. A Methane Hydrate Energy Revolution?
    7. A Concluding Note
    8. Notes
  19. References
  20. Index