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The biggest problem behind the US boom



U.S. Slate production is expected to continue growing in the early 2020s. And this is a major problem.

Over the last decade, US oil production has increased more than twice, and today it has grown from 5 million barrels per day (mb / d) to nearly 12 mb / d. Natural gas has also grown significantly, increasing from 21 trillion cubic feet per year (Tcf / y) in 2008 to 29 Tcf / y in 2017

Natural gas is likened to "bridged fuel", allowing the US to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) while switching to cleaner energy. Cheap shale gas has destroyed many coal-fired power stations, and with the greenhouse gas bill half that of coal, switching is a blessing to fight against climate change.

This story, of course, remains a debate. Shale gas operations emit methane and at some point the large volumes of inorganic methane emissions completely offset the benefits of coal gas. Different studies, for and against, claim that methane was and was emitted.

But there are other reasons why the story of coal in gas has been oversold. Billion dollar investments in gas and gas drilling suck up renewable energy. The cheap shale gas has destroyed nuclear power, the largest carbon-free source of electricity

Moreover, new power plants are long-lasting investments and their owners expect to use them in the future. In other words, the US is locked in gas, although science dictates a relatively short timetable for energy transition.

Yet, the digging of coal has its advantages, and the gas case is not quite clear

But what about crude oil? The increase in US oil production and the resulting impact on greenhouse gas emissions have not been studied so much. A new report by Daniel Reims from Future Resources (RFF) examines the impact on greenhouse gas emissions from various future oil production situations. Raymy is the author of the book "Fair Debate".

Rémix outlined several scenarios looking at the impact of GHG on oil and gas production in the US (higher or lower production, more or less stringent). methane assumptions) and found that greenhouse gas emissions are highest in all scenarios where the US produces more oil than the main EIA case.

In particular, even the exact policy on climate change is exceeded by the exact level of oil and gas production. The Obama administration's clean energy plan, which required a major repair of the power sector and would have shut down a number of coal-fired power stations, was a remarkable policy and one of the government's most significant efforts to accelerate the energy transition. The CPP was detained by the Supreme Court and replaced by the Trump administration. Related: 2 reasons why large oil does not go into renewable sources

According to the Raimi study, even assuming the full implementation of CPP, emissions are still higher in the "high oil production" scenario, even in comparison with the lack of CPP but lower oil and gas production.

"In other words, low levels of oil and gas production are doing more to reduce emissions than CPC implementation," Raimi concluded, noting that the only warning that undermines this conclusion is that methane assessments significantly overvalued. President Obama's Obama CPP and the one underlying the US involvement in the Paris Climate Agreement is less a consequence of greenhouse gas emissions than the exact level of climate change. oil and gas

otherwise, the penalty for the climate in an aggressive scenario where shale production in the US continues to grow over the next decade, more than offsetting the utility of coking coal plants.

The main reason for this is not CO2 but methane, not the people who burn more gas in their cars because of the higher oil production. In the United States, demand is relatively inelastic

Instead, the primary penalty for the climate comes from higher methane emissions linked to upstream production. CO2 emissions remain enormous and are a serious problem, but these emissions do not change so much. Methane emissions are excessive in relation to the reference case if oil and gas production exceeds the baseline.

The high levels of oil and natural gas production, increased methane emissions are likely to stifle the effects of GHG policies such as CPP, unless methane emissions are dramatically reduced below current levels, Raimi warns.

effects, lowering prices and stimulating demand. Effects are more difficult to cheat, but by 2030, the world could consume 1

.6 mb / d more than it would otherwise be in the US high production scenario. US oil is exported abroad, lowering prices and stimulating demand.

The world then emits 200 to 50 MMT of CO2 more than it would otherwise be, according to RFF. For context, Brazil issued 417 MMTs in 2016. In other words, higher oil and gas production in the US could add another greenhouse gas value in Brazil by 2030

There are many uncertainties and assumptions embedded in each model and that need to be considered. However, the RFF study offers a strong warning. In short, the ongoing US shale crisis is detrimental to the fight against climate change.

Last month's report from Oil Change International was more direct. The US Petroleum and Gas Industry is preparing to unleash the biggest outburst of new carbon emissions in the world between 2050 and 2050. "

By Nick Cunningham of Oilprice.com

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