Thursday, July 05, 2012

Natural Gas v. Coal: Is Coal Dead?

Over the last few days you saw stories about the large reduction in US carbon emissions in the last few years.  Those stories attributed the substitution of natural gas for coal in utilities as the principal reason for the change.  The stories also implied that because nat-gas was cheap and plentiful (and coal is fuguglydirty and relatively expensive,) that ....well....coal is dead.


...EIA’s Table 17 (click any image to enlarge) shows how reserve estimates have changed in the last three AEOs. In particular, the estimate for average recovery of a well in Louisiana’s Haynesville Shale was 4.59 billion cubic feet (BCF) per well in AEO2010, 3.58 BCF in AEO2011, and only 2.67 BCF per well in this most recent AEO2012. Just as surprising is the inset graph in Figure 54 above, which suggests that a typical Haynesville well produces >95% of its reserves in the first 5 years. The wells produce at phenomenal rates to begin with, but decline rapidly due to the constrained flow properties of ultra-tight shale rocks...

Maybe it's prudent to keep a few coal-fired generators around.  Remember, friends, that propaganda can be emitted by all sorts of entities, not just Gummints.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Sierra Club is now targeting Natural Gas as "Dirty"