mercredi 12 mai 2010

Le gaz naturel de schiste: une révolution énergétique?

Un article long mais fascinant dans le Wall Street Journal, sur la quantité énorme de gaz naturel présente dans les 'schistes' (shale), en parallèle avec la diminution dramatique des coûts d'extraction.

Comme quoi, encore une fois, les 'Doomsayers' prédisant l'épuisement des ressources naturelles (le pétrole dans ce cas), ont sous-estimé le potentiel des humains de résoudre ce type de problème avec l'aide de progrès technologiques.

Merci à d'avoir attiré mon attention sur cet article.

Via le Wall Street Journal (l'article vaut la peine d'être lu en entier):

Shale Gas Will Rock the World

Huge discoveries of natural gas promise to shake up the energy markets and geopolitics. And that's just for starters.

There's an energy revolution brewing right under our feet.

Over the past decade, a wave of drilling around the world has uncovered giant supplies of natural gas in shale rock. By some estimates, there's 1,000 trillion cubic feet recoverable in North America alone—enough to supply the nation's natural-gas needs for the next 45 years. Europe may have nearly 200 trillion cubic feet of its own.

We've always known the potential of shale; we just didn't have the technology to get to it at a low enough cost. Now new techniques have driven down the price tag—and set the stage for shale gas to become what will be the game-changing resource of the decade.

I have been studying the energy markets for 30 years, and I am convinced that shale gas will revolutionize the industry—and change the world—in the coming decades. It will prevent the rise of any new cartels. It will alter geopolitics. And it will slow the transition to renewable energy.

To understand why, you have to consider that even before the shale discoveries, natural gas was destined to play a big role in our future. As environmental concerns have grown, nations have leaned more heavily on the fuel, which gives off just half the carbon dioxide of coal. But the rise of gas power seemed likely to doom the world's consumers to a repeat of OPEC, with gas producers like Russia, Iran and Venezuela coming together in a cartel and dictating terms to the rest of the world.

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