US EIA Changes to Gas Storage Report May Calm the Market, Analysts Say

The US Energy Information Administration plans to monitor the movement of gas in and out of storage in an attempt to clarify the weekly inventory report for natural gas. This is due to the reclassification of this gas from base to working, and working to base which sometimes affects the estimated net storage change in the EIA’s weekly report, further influencing and creating uncertainty in the market.

The report will remain the same apart from an added “implied flow” column that will reflect the difference in working gas inventories between weeks and exclude reclassifications. This will hopefully provide greater transparency by EIA in their weekly, which aims to reduce possible market issues and general uncertainty. Users will now be able to find the reclassification number directly each week rather than having to figure it out themselves based on data from the current and previous week’s reports. These changes are expected to go live after an initial testing period that will occur later this year.

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Synthetic Gas Plants in China Set to Produce More Than 7x The Emissions of Natural Gas

China’s claims in leading the clean energy drive have been put on the back-burner recently as they look to start production of synthetic natural gas plants, which are reported to produce more than 7x the emissions than that of natural gas. In addition, the water usage for these as shale gas production would be 100x of its cleaner alternative.

So far, around 9 plants have been signed off which are set to produce around 37 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. Private companies are also looking to jump on board, with a reported 30 more plants scheduled for construction. Chi-Jen Yang, author of Duke University’s “Nature Climate Change” paper, states that the additional carbon dioxide pollution from these plants by themselves would negate the entire recent investment into wind a solar power made by the Chinese government. A new paper published recently also mentioned that analysis of this synthetic plant showed that total greenhouse emissions from a life-cycle of one vehicle would be twice that than a gasoline powered vehicle.

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Study Shows Natural Gas Proves to Be a Better Option For Buses

Costs and emissions for buses could be significantly lowered by using the cleaner and more available natural gas, a university energy economist reports recently.  While the study was shown to only apply to a small group of buses, this unique approach to fueling could soon become the norm for bus fleets nationwide.

The purpose of this study was to find various methods to decrease costs and emissions of CityBus’ existing fleet. The buses were analyzed economically and environmentally in a wide range of scenarios to deduce whether natural gas would be viable as an alternative fuel source. The report concluded that over a 15 year time-span that over 6 million in expenses would be saved. This is also taking into account future diesel and natural-gas prices, and the percentage chance that natural gas was going to come at as a lower cost option were around 65 to 100 percent. 

Natural Gas: An Overview

Natural gas is one of the safest, cleanest, and most functional fossil fuels found on Earth. Its uses are vast and range from electricity generation, heating, cooling and hundreds of others. One of the largest industries in the world, natural gas has application in both residential and commercial industries. Billions of dollars are spent each year locating, manufacturing and drilling natural gas. Its development creates thousands of jobs and has a large impact on the U.S. energy market.
U.S. Energy Production by Fuel
Natural gas is a combination of several types of hydrocarbons. These are gasses whose molecular structure is a combination of hydrogen and carbon atoms. While natural gas can contain nitrogen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen, the number one hydrocarbon component is Methane gas. It is the Methane gas that makes natural gas valuable for use as a fuel because of its uses in combustion. There is a great abundance of natural gas to be found in the United States and the world at large, making it a very attractive option for powering our world.

The top three natural gas producers in the world are Russia, the United States, and Canada. The United States has over twenty-five large natural gas producing plays, the largest of which is known as Anadarko Basin. The Basin stretches through Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Colorado and produces 100 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Natural Gas Extraction
In order to extract natural gas from the Earth it needs to be drilled. For reserves found in shallow locations, a process known as cable tool drilling is used. This method chisels through the earth by continually sinking a large metal bit into the ground. Natural gas found deeper in the Earth is extracted using a different process known as rotary drilling. Rotary drilling uses a spinning drill bit to burrow into the earth in order to reach natural gas deposits.
NatGas Schematic

Once drilled, the uses of natural gas are immense. Natural gas is a key resource in electricity generation. Compared to its coal-powered counter-parts, electrical generation powered by natural gas produces nearly half the harmful carbon dioxide pollution. There is a large push in the United States to reduce the use of coal powered plants in lieu of natural for this reason.

In the home, natural gas is used to power many appliances. Heating and cooling systems can be powered through natural gas. Many stoves, furnaces, and hot water heaters are powered by pumping natural gas into homes. Outside the home, gas is used in a number of manufacturing processes including plastics, paints, glass and steel.

Natural gas is one of the most abundant forms of fossil fuel energy in the United States, and as such has a large impact on the U.S. Energy market. Comprised mainly of the hydrocarbon Methane, using natural gas for electrical generation is one of the cleanest and environmentally friendly fuels on the planet. As more drilling sites are discovered and more gas extracted, it will continue to see uses both domestically and industrial processes for years to come.