IEA Outlines Rules for 'Golden Age of Gas'
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said that exploiting the world’s vast unconventional natural gas resources is the key to a “Golden Age of Gas” if governments, industry and other stakeholders can address public concerns about the associated environmental and social impacts.
“The technology and the know-how already exist for unconventional gas to be produced in an environmentally acceptable way,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven.
“But if the social and environmental impacts are not addressed properly, there is a very real possibility that public opposition to drilling for shale gas and other types of unconventional gas will halt the unconventional gas revolution in its tracks,” she said.
IEA is advocating for: full transparency; measuring and monitoring of environmental impacts; engagement with communities; actions to prevent any leaks from wells into aquifers; assessment and monitoring of water requirements and of waste water; measures to target zero venting and minimal flaring of gas; and improved project planning and regulatory control.
It said those approaches could increase the cost of a typical shale gas well by 7%, but in large developments those expenses could be offset by lower operating costs.
IEA said such measures could enable world unconventional gas (primarily shale gas) output to triple between 2010 and 2035.
For more information: www.iea.org