Top Level Site contents

















Top Level Page Contents:


Solution in a nutshell

Natural gas distribution on land

Natural gas distribution in the oceans

Estimated total energy in natural gas worldwide

North American supply

South American supply

European supply

Asian supply

African supply

Middle eastern supply

Australian supply

Russian supply

Our mascot Charley says:

Wow, the world is swimming in natural gas.

The World's Natural Gas Supply

There is more natural gas -- just on the surface of the earth -- than we really want to use because of the implications for global warming. And a lot more under the world's oceans.

This is a very large supply of fossil natural gas on land. There is an even greater amount under the oceans, along the coastlines of the continents in the form of sea ice. Although driving on natural gas emits 20-25% less CO2, it is not a long term solution to our transportation problem. This will take a few pages to explain, but it is very important to understand.

The solution in a nutshell

The solution, in a nutshell is to immediately start using, in slightly modified current vehicles, natural gas in the form of liquid methanol, then simultaneously develop bio-gas facilities, using organic wastes, to make methanol. This methanol will be, and is in tests being done now, CO2 neutral. Volvo is leading this effort in Europe. Furthermore, internal combustion engines can run up to 30% more efficiently on methanol than on gasoline, and together with the development of methanol hybrids, and then of fuel cells of 50-75% efficiency, it may be possible to generate enough of it through bio-gas techniques (perhaps with the help of algae farms) to run most of our future vehicles.

It will take a lot of this website to develop the arguments fully. The YouTube and SlideShare presentations on the homepage summarize this attempt.

Natural gas distribution on land

Natural Gas is more widely distributed over the globe than oil is.


Natural gas distribution in the oceans

Natural gas is even more widely distributed along the continental shelves of the world. More info on this is presented in Natural Gas as a Fuel, Section 5.


Estimated quantity of total energy in natural gas worldwide

Another way to look at the supply is in terms of the estimated total energy in it. The plot below show the worldwide supply of shale gas only. It is staggering. he top 7 are China, US, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Australia and Canada. Very large amounts also exists in Libya, Algeria, Brazil Poland, and Franc. There are many regions that have not been explored for shale. So this is an interim picture which will brighten further. We may never want to, or have to, use all this methane.

North America Natural Gas Supply

There are vast new shale reserves in North America. An entire page is devoted to the story.

South American Natural Gas Supply

European Natural Gas Supply

Asian Natural Gas Supply

With all the buzz around shale gas in the US the blog is not surprised to read that China is also turning to this unconventional source of gas.

The country is looking to start shale gas production within the next five years, said a senior government official. It has drilled more than 10 wells and signed several cooperation agreements with foreign companies to develop more.

China National Petroleum Corp has completed its first horizontal shale gas well after 11 months of drilling. And the company is working with international majors such as Shell and Chevron on exploration and production.

China has also been busy gathering expertise to tap this resource. State-owned companies have already invested over $6bn in North American shale gas assets in the last three months, six times the figure for the whole of 2010.

And there is plenty of shale gas that the country can tap. In a recent report on shale gas resources outside the US, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that China has about 920 trillion cubic feet of potential shale-gas resources.

African Supply

Detailed quantities of the African shale gas are just beginning to be understood, but as can be seen in the world map above, there are very large tracks of land that geologists consider to have shale gas.

Here we add that South Africa, has just allowed racking permits on a major part of the country (see map below). Both Stat oil and Sasoil have applied for exploration rights.

Middle Eastern Supply

The supply is huge, but the value of oil is so much more that flaring the gas is very common.

On the subject of flaring, we can see in the chart below that Russia leads by a huge amount.