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Shale gas, oil reshape world energy landscape

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Posted September 25, 2013
After unleashing an energy revolution in the United States, shale gas and oil are now becoming energy game-changers worldwide, a break with the past whose ramifications are still unclear.
File photo shows US workers laying a shale gas pipeline outside Waynesburg, in Pennsylvania
File photo shows US workers laying a shale gas pipeline outside Waynesburg, in Pennsylvania. After unleashing an energy revolution in the United States, shale gas and oil are now becoming energy game-changers worldwide, a break with the past whose ramifications are still unclear.
 

Thanks to the advent of hydraulic fracturing technology—used to extract oil and gas locked in sedimentary shale rock—the United States is on track to become the world-number-one oil producer by 2017 and a net exporter by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Besides radically changing the US energy landscape, this “fracking” revolution is also reshaping markets overseas.

Thanks to the sudden abundance of cheap natural gas, American electricity suppliers are shunning domestic coal—leading producers to export it at low prices to Europe and Asia.

That trend has revived the appeal of coal-fired power plants in Europe and taken a toll on plans to transition toward gas-burning plants, despite the air-pollution concerns around coal.

Energy experts say the United States will also likely begin exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe and Asia in the next several years.

US authorities have already greenlighted four LNG export terminals.

 

Read more at: Phys.org

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