[Environment] Shale Gas: Advantages and limitations as an Energy source

Environment8 Comments

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  1. What is Shale Gas?
  2. What’re its Advantages?
  3. What’re its limitations?

What is Shale Gas?

  • Shale gas is natural gas formed from being trapped within shale formations.
  • Shale gas—an “unconventional” source of methane, like coal-bed gas (in coal seams) and tight gas (trapped in rock formations)
  • It is Colourless, odourless, lighter than air.
  • In Europe shale gas is not used because of environmental rules and limited property rights.
  • But In America, Shale Gas use already began. In future, it might be used for fullfilling the energy requirements of US manufacturing industry.

Shale Gas Deposit-Diagram

What’re the Advantages of Shale Gas?

  • A flexible fuel, can heat homes, run industrial boilers
  • Shale gas also provides feedstock for the petrochemicals industry, which is turned into plastics, fertiliser and other useful stuff.
  • Experimental Usage as fuel for trucks, lorries and buses.
  • Shale-gas is cheaper than gas, releases 50% less CO2, hence better source for generating electricity.
  • Shale gas power stations are safer than nuclear reactors and cheaper than renewables sources such as solar electricity cell.

What’re its limitations/drawbacks?

  • Storage & Transportation = difficult + expensive..
  • Therefore, Shale gas not traded in international-commodity market unlike coal or crude oil. Not even 33% of the shale gas is traded in interntional market
  • It has no global price comparision platform.
  • Gas prices in different parts of the world are set by quite different mechanisms, they vary wildly across the world.
  • To construct Gas pipelines, you’ve to spend millions of $$ per km.
  • alternatively, we can transport shale gas in liquid form, like LNG. But such LNG-terminal will also require huge investments
  • GK: Gazprom is Russia’s huge state-run gas producer and supplier of 25% of Europe’s gas.

Shale Gas in India?

  • Potential Sites: Cambay, Gondwana, Krishna-Godawari onland, and Cauvery.
  • Public sector companies and corporations like ONGC, OIL and GAIL are exploring these sites.
  • Subject matter falls under Director General of Hydrocarbans (DGH)
  • MoU have been signed between USA, and India for sharing technical knowledge in shale-gas exploration. This is one area where USA is far ahead of us, we’ve much to learn from them.

Why shale gas is not a priority in India?

  • Shale gas is Difficult to store and transport.
  • Shale gas requires hydraulic fracking method for extraction. Therefore creates following problems
Hydraulic Fracking NeedsIndia’s problem
Large Area
  • land acquisition problems, especially where Union and State governments are ruled by different political parties.
  • environment clearance
Large Water Supply
  • We’ve shortage of water even for drinking and irrigation, so diverting water for shale-gas exploration, will prove to be tough, especially given the judicial activism and PILs in India.
Guar Gum (Fluid Viscosity Agent)
  • Guar gum is too costly. India is largest producer of Guar gum. But due to heavy imports from US shalegas companies, its prices have increased by ten times within a year.
  • Hence, there is shortage of Guar-gum, for domestic industries willing to explore shale gas ,but who cannot keep up with the prices offered by Americans.

Ref.:http://www.economist.com/node/21558432

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  9. Disha’s Topicwise Paperset (Hindi | English)
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  11. Mains: Language papers
  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
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So far 8 Comments posted

  1. Sds

    Sir you posted about a software which helps in making notes. Can you please give me that link. I am not asking about FOXIT pdf reader .

    1. Mrunal

      It was called “Freemind” (to create mindmaps)
      another was “Evernote.”
      Third was Microsoft OneNote (part of Microsoft Office software)

  2. saurabh

    ONGC has explored “unlimited reserves” of shale gas at sarpi on outskirts of durgapur(west bengal) in damodar basin. This is Asia’s first and only tapped gas reserves outside north america.

    1. Ashraf

      In India Scientists identify 28 basins where production of shale gas can start in five years;
      The US Energy Information Administration estimated that India held 38 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves. That was good enough for the needs of the nation for 29 years, it was said. That is around 527 tcf of shale gas reserve.

  3. Ashraf

    In India Scientists identify 28 basins where production of shale gas can start in five years;
    The US Energy Information Administration estimated that India held 38 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves. That was good enough for the needs of the nation for 29 years, it was said.
    Our Indian estimate is that India hass around 527 tcf of shale gas reserve.

  4. Ranjith

    Sir , it would be helpfull if you add problems associated with “frauckling technology” for extraction of shale gas..

  5. gopi

    Sir pls elobrate this topic

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