Is Natural Gas Really the Next Big Thing? Part 1

A WCTA White Paper: J. Thomas Ranken, Washington Clean Technology Alliance, April 2012.  

Is natural gas the new next big thing?  It is being called a revolution in energy and a” game-changer.”  Pulitzer-Prize winning energy researcher Dr. Daniel Yergin claims that “By the beginning of this decade, the rapidity and sheer scale of the shale breakthrough—and its effects on markets—qualified it as the most significant innovation in energy so far since the start of the twenty-first century.”[1]  The President has proclaimed that the United States is “the Saudi Arabia of natural gas.”[2]  It is “the energy equivalent of the Berlin Wall coming down,” says Robin West, Chairman and CEO of PFC Energy.[3]

Worldwide Natural Gas[4]

Proved Reserves (Trillion Cubic Meters)

They may be right.  Over the course of the next several years, we are likely to witness dramatic alterations in the utilization of energy.  It will not be overnight, but it is likely that there will be steady movement away from coal and petroleum and into natural gas.

[1] Daniel Yergin, The Quest:  Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World (New York:  The Penguin Press, 2011) p. 330.
[2] Joe Schoenmann, “Obama:  We are the Saudi Arabia of Natural Gas”, Las Vega Sun, January 26, 2012.
[3] John Ydstie, “Is U.S. Energy Independence Finally Within Reach?  National Public Radio, March 7, 2012.
[4] BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2011, p. 20.