Shale gas – the future of energy?

201011ldp003.jpgThe advent of ‘game-changing‘ shale gas is the subject of a glut of articles in today and yesterday’s press, all of which make no denial that this gas could have a seismic effect on the global energy trade and force a re-alignment of the power politics of energy resources (spelling little good news for predominant  European energy strangleholder Russia).  This from the Economist:

A gasified American economy would have profound effects on both international politics and the battle against climate change. Displacement of oil by natural gas would strengthen a trend away from crude in rich countries, where the IEA believes demand has already peaked as a result of the recent spike in oil prices. Another consequence of the energy market’s bull run, the unearthing of vast new supplies of gas, could bring further upheaval. If the past decade was characterised by the energy-security concerns of consumers, the coming years could give even the world’s powerful oil producers reason to worry, as a subterranean revolution shifts the geopolitics of global energy supply again.

And Carola Hoyos and Ed Crooks in today’s FT have this to add:

Ifwestern politicians get it right, they could transform their uneasyrelationships with suppliers in potentially troubling countries such asRussia and Nigeria, while meeting carbon reduction targets withoutrelying on nuclear and wind power, which can deliver electricity onlyat vastly inflated expense. The consequences will be greatest if Europecan emulate the upsurge in US production. If it does not, the effectswill still be profound.

Both articles also examine the fact that while seemingly providing a cleaner-looking alternative to the tarnished image of coal and traditional fuels, the greener credentials of this gas may not hold up under greater scrutiny.  Read the full FT article here.