you ready for the world of methane?
Fisher, director of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University
of Texas at Austin, called methane a major part of the energy mix
that is evolving right now — and it will continue to be a dominant
force for the first half of this century.
won't be our only fuel source, but it will be the most important
as a percentage of the total energy mix," Fisher said. "The methane
economy will last through the first half of this century and it
will be pushed by the development of hydrogen fuel cells.
will be both a source of fossil fuel and hydrogen for fuel cells,"
is one of several speakers who will participate in a forum at the
AAPG Annual Meeting on "The Future of Global Energy — Technical,
Environmental, Economic and Policy Issues."
which will cover primarily the U.S. perspective on the future of
global energy, is chaired by Scott Tinker, director of the Bureau
of Economic Geology in Austin, Texas, and Pinar Yilmaz, with ExxonMobil,
will discuss decarbonization — the concept of moving from solid
fuels to liquid fuels to natural gas, and eventually to hydrogen.
said he asked Fisher to particularly address the impact of the decarbonization
trend on the economy and environment.
will approach the subject from two separate tracks:
plans to look at the issue of carbon containment or sequestration,
which is currently being considered and researched, as a means
to reduce CO2 emissions by the industrial world where
fossil fuels are heavily used.
discuss the historic progression in global energy use.
from wood, which is very high in carbon, to coal, then transitioned
to oil and now we are in the process of transitioning to natural
gas," Fisher said. "That is an almost straight line progression
that has been under way for over 100 years.
the implications are that we are on the threshold of what some call
the methane economy," he said.
does this transition to a methane economy mean for natural gas demand?
demand for natural gas over the first half of this century could
be 20 to 25 percent times higher than all global gas demand historically,"
he said. "In the United States the major increase in demand will
focus more attention on how much of our needs can be met domestically,
and how much will have to be LNG imports."
threshold of natural gas prices and the long-term outlook for strong
gas prices, according to Fisher, means more attention has been turned
to LNG and moving natural gas resources globally.
price at which LNG becomes economically viable is open for debate,"
he said, "but today's prices of $4 to $5 per MCF are making LNG
the longer term view of natural gas prices is the real key," he
continued. "Before a company goes out and makes a multi-billion
dollar investment in a LNG plant there must be some assurance that
long-term gas prices can support the project."
said most experts believe that following natural gas the global
economy will be fueled by hydrogen.
will happen gradually and may not be a real force until mid-century,
but some projections indicate we will be significantly into hydrogen
fuel cell technology for transportation within 20 to 25 years,"
he said. "In fact, in some areas of the world — like China, where
there are relatively few automobiles today — they may leapfrog
over combustible engines right to hydrogen fuel cell transportation.
argue the timing of these trends in decarbonization," Fisher said,
"but unquestionably, in my judgment, these are the directions we
speaker C. Michael Smith, assistant secretary of fossil
energy with the Department of Energy.
Farnsworth, vice president of worldwide exploration for BP.
Riese, with BP, representing the recently released National
Petroleum Council report to the secretary of energy.
Friedman, with Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and Susan Hovorka,
a BEG research scientist, discussing carbon sequestration and
enhanced recovery potential.
Kuuskraa, president of Advanced Resources International, discussing
the future of natural gas supply, demand and technology.