Comment on Nature’s editorial ”Change for good” (Aleklett)

Posted on January 31, 2013


I have now also made a comment on the Editorial in Nature. (Read the Editorial)

2013-01-31 05:57 AM

Report this comment | #54593
Kjell Aleklett said:
When one reads the editorial “Change for good” in Nature one is given the impression that Canada’s oil sands, shale oil and shale gas are good for our climate,

“The Obama administration might be able to put the United States on track to meet its Copenhagen commitment to reduce emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.”

What is not described is the enormous volume of natural gas that, every day, is flared off in association with production of shale oil. During President Obama’s first presidential term shale oil production has increased by 1.5 million barrels per day and the light from flaring off of associated gas in the Bakken and Eagle Ford areas is now is so great that these areas glow like brilliant jewels when photographed at night by NASA’s satellites. Just in the Bakken the volume of gas flared off would be sufficient to meet the combined energy needs of Chicago and Washington DC. To maintain the current level of shale oil production a great many new wells must be drilled every year thus releasing ever more associated gas that must be flared off (since capturing it for use would be too expensive). During president Obama’s second presidential term the intention is to double production of shale oil and this, in turn, will increased the rate at which gas is flared off. The USA is already the world’s leading nation in terms of flaring off of gas and President Obama’s two terms will go down in history as that period when emissions from gas flaring increased most rapidly. The currently low natural gas prices due to shale gas production may reduce use of coal but will also delay development of renewable electricity generation.

(Photos with flaring:

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