Liquefied natural gas exports – Being touted by many as ‘the new coal’, the energy resource abbreviated LNG is being seen as a big boom for the USA energy sector with demand and growth on the up and investments in the sector seemingly a no brainer.
But we have heard this all before and of course there are serious issues around how that gas is sourced.
So who is exporting this gas?
Well the first company given license is Cheniere Energy, they will be able to start exporting in 2015 and will be able to compete with the world market offering lower prices due to the abundance of LNG in some parts of the USA, particularly the mid-continental United States shale.
The problems for many start there though. We have learned before what invasive mining can do to the environment and the process to get LNG out of shale is called Hydraulic fracturing or more commonly fracking.
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In basic terms a bill bore hole, well, is dug deep into the earth. Then under high pressure water, chemicals and sand are shot down that hole creating fractures in the ground which then allow the gas stuck in the shale to flow into the bore hole and be collected.
It’s a highly forceful way of extracting energy from our planet and the fracturing process is deemed by many to be dangerous. However the companies themselves do claim the process is safe.
Much of the concern also comes from the use of the chemicals in the process however again the companies claim these are safe.
A controversial documentary on the subject is Gaslands, I think it’s well worth anyone’s time.