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The biggest problem behind the US boom



The United States is expected to continue shale production by 2020. And this is the main problem.

Over the last decade, oil production in the United States has more than doubled, rising from 5 million barrels per day (mb / g) to about 12 mb / d. Natural gas has also grown significantly, rising from 21 trillion cubic feet per year ( Tcf / y) in 2008 to 29 Tcf / y in 2017.

Natural gas was compared to "bridge fuel", which allowed the United States to reduce the greenhouse gas emission effect (GHG) in the transition to cleaner energy. Cheap shale gas destroyed a large number of coal-fired plants, and with a greenhouse gas profile half that of coal, the switch was useful for combating climate change

. . Shale gas operations emit methane, and at some point high volumes of uncontrolled methane emissions completely offset the benefits that gas has over coal. Various studies, for and against, argue about how much methane is emitted and emitted.

But there are other reasons why the coal has been resold to gas. Billions of dollars in investment in gas drilling and gas power plants suck off capital from renewable energy sources. Cheap shale gas also destroyed nuclear energy, the largest non-carbon source of electricity.

More appropriate, new power plants are durable investments, and their owners hope to use them for decades. In other words, the US is blocking itself into gas, even though science dictates a relatively short transition schedule for energy.

Nevertheless, the knocking out of coal has its advantages, and the case against gas is not entirely clear.

However, how about crude oil? So much oil production in the United States and the impact of greenhouse gas emissions coming from it have not been studied so much. Daniel Rayme's New Report on Resource Resources for the Future (RFF) examines the impact of GHG emissions from various future oil spill situations. Raimi is the author of a very one-sided book, The Fracking Debate.

Raimi outlined several scenarios dealing with the impact of US GHG on US oil and gas production (higher or lower volumes, more or less stringent climate policies, assumptions about methane), and found that greenhouse gas emissions gases are the highest in all scenarios in which the US produces more oil than the EIA baseline scenario

. gas production The Obama administration's clean energy plan, which demanded a significant revision of the electricity sector and closed down a number of coal-fired power plants, has become a landmark policy and one of the most significant government efforts to accelerate the energy transition. The CPC was in the Supreme Court and was replaced by the Trump administration.

Related: 2 reasons why large oil is in no hurry in renewable energy sources

According to a research by Raimi, even if we assume the full realization of CPP, emissions still higher in the scenario of "high oil production", even if compared with non-CPP, but to reduce oil and gas production.

"In other words, a low level of oil and natural gas production will make more emission reductions than the implementation of the KPC," concluded Ramey, noting that the only reservation that undermines this conclusion is that methane estimates have been significantly overestimated [1

9659004]. . Obama's CPC, signed by President Obama, and the climate underlying US involvement in the Paris Climate Compact, have less impact on greenhouse gas emissions than the exact level of oil and gas production.

Otherwise, climatic punishment in an aggressive scenario in which US shale production continues to grow over the next decade is more than offset by the benefits of closing a group of coal factories.

The main reason for this is not CO2 but methane. People do not burn more gasoline in their cars because of high oil production. The need for the United States is relatively inelastic

Instead, the main reduction of the climate is due to higher emissions of methane associated with oil extraction. CO2 emissions remain huge and have a huge problem, but these emissions do not change this. Methane emissions are excessively jumped relative to the reference case, if the extraction of oil and gas exceeds the baseline.

Related: Is natural gas formed?

A high level of oil and natural gas extraction, an increase in methane emissions, will likely lead to a deterioration in the impact of GHG on policies such as CPP, if methane emissions do not drastically decrease below the current level, "warned Raimi

. effects, lower prices and higher demand. The effects are complicated, but by 2030 the world can consume 1.6 mb / g more than would be the case with a high production scenario in the United States. US oil is exported abroad, lowering prices and increasing demand.

The world then ends with emissions from 200 to 50 MW CO2 more than otherwise, RFF reports. For the context, Brazil has released 417 MMT in 2016. In other words, the top American oil and gas industry could add to Brazil another 2030 greenhouse gases.

There are many uncertainties and assumptions that require any model that needs it. to mean. However, the RFF study gives an acute warning. In short, the ongoing US-US shale shale deal is catastrophic in its fight against climate change.

The report of last month from Oil Change International was more direct. The US oil and gas industry is "preparing for the largest emission of new carbon emissions in the world by 2050".

Nick Cunningham from Oilprice.com

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