Diane Francis of the Financial Post put up an interesting blog article not too long ago on the ways in which advances in shale gas development are changing the world, and taking the geopolitical punch out of the oil and gas trade (Gazprom is certainly taking note). Check it out here:
This is why it’s a game-changer. The majors buying shale gas also control most of the American gasoline stations which means that they can bring about the gasification of transportation fuels and power generation.
The idea of using compressed natural gas instead of gasoline was the brainchild of Calgary’s Jim Gray of Canadian Hunter in the 1980s. It’s inexpensive to retrofit a car to use gas and easier on engines.But the idea went nowhere because gasoline chains weren’t interested and governments weren’t concerned about the environment or about the cost of oil imports.Shale gas supporters include ExxonMobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips and those three are the biggest gasoline station marketers in the United States.The deal to watch is ExxonMobil’s $41-billion purchase of XTO Energy Inc., due to close this June. The backroom politics are ferocious over shale gas and pits Big Oil against two unlikely bedfellows, environmentalists and the coal lobby. Both have been making a fuss over alleged negative impacts on water supplies as a result of the production of shale oil deposits near population centers in New York and Pennsylvania states.