The most memorable line from the opening remarks for the World Shale Gas Conference & Exhibition came from our own Board Chairman, Bob Skaggs. In his opening address, he said, “gas is good, and shale gas is very good.” The message, both simple and concise, resonated among the delegates and sparked interest in getting the word out to energy policymakers around the globe – that natural gas can help solve our energy and environmental concerns. A consistent refrain I hear among the delegates is why the U.S. government doesn’t do more to promote the use of natural gas given its environmental attributes. As a low-carbon, low-cost, ubiquitous fuel, natural gas is well-positioned to meet energy demand in ways that can help reduce current greenhouse gas emissions, not potentially or years from now, but today.
The abundance message is beginning to build momentum. As Rick Smead, from Navigant, noted, the Society of Petroleum Engineers recently reported that there are over 16,000 Tcf of shale gas resources globally and that North America has more of it than anywhere else in the world, over 3,600 Tcf. He also noted that while only about one-quarter of those resources are currently technically recoverable, advances in drilling and recovery methods will, over time, unlock more and more of that resource base.
So, why aren’t we using natural gas more – to heat more of our homes and businesses, as a low-carbon fuel to generate electricity, to integrate intermittent, renewable resources, and as a transportation fuel for fleet and person vehicles, for ships in port, for long-haul trucks, etc.? One of the key take-aways from today’s sessions is that it’s time for the industry to focus on the demand side of the equation – to look at ways to increase demand for natural gas. AGA is involved in a number of efforts to do just that. And, we have a great message from our Chairman – “GAS IS GOOD.”