- What is Shale Gas?
- What’re its Advantages?
- 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.
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 Needs
- 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.