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View Diary: Shale Gas Bubble About to Burst: Art Berman, Bill Powers (89 comments)

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  •  Boom! A Cautionary Energy Tale (18+ / 0-)

    We have lived this story already.  Anyone that wants to know how it ends, should read about what happened with the Trenton Gas Field in Indiana and Ohio from 1880 to 1900.  As one of the largest oil and gas fields discovered up until that time, whole energy intensive industries moved to Northern Indiana.  That is how Ball Glass got started in Muncie, IN.  Some estimates say that over 90% of the gas was wasted in burning the gas as it came out of the well (this was called a flambeau).  At the center of the gas field, where the pressures were the highest, a small town called Harrisburg was renamed to Gas City and a plan was enacted to build a new industrial city on the Mississinewa River that was to rival Pittsburgh, PA.  The never ending supply of gas stopped flowing around 1899.  More specifically, the pressure was burned off.  Only 10% of the estimated 1 billion barrels of oil was removed.  As the gas pressure dissipated, it made it nearly impossible to get the remaining oil.  There is still over 900 million barrels of oil remaining under Indiana.

    While this isn't the same geological issue with shale, the lessons might be the same.  A huge boom that lead to the dramatic decline of a resource.

    "When a nation goes down, or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along." --Carl Sandburg

    by Mote Dai on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 06:40:51 PM PST

    •  Well, now we know... (4+ / 0-)

      ...where we could pump the carbon dioxide from all those "clean" coal plants, to recover all that oil!

      Oh, wiat...

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 07:09:00 PM PST

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      •  Don't laugh! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, Calamity Jean

        Numerous odd ideas have been floated over the years to get that oil (still estimated at 900 million barrels).  Now that new oil extraction technologies have been developed that don't require high ground gas pressures, I bet someone is already drawing up investment plans to go after it.  

        "When a nation goes down, or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along." --Carl Sandburg

        by Mote Dai on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 07:25:29 PM PST

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        •  Well... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roger Fox, Mote Dai, Calamity Jean

          ...they shouldn't have drawn out all of the natural gas, then. But they'd need a whole tishload of either nitrogen or carbon dioxide to extract that big a load of oil, and I don't know where they would get it easily.

          Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

          by JeffW on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 08:12:04 PM PST

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          •  Most of it was wasted (13+ / 0-)

            Indiana tried to regulate the industry and stop the flambeau practice.  Some gas providers voluntarily stopped the practice.  The State passed regulations were fought tooth and nail in the courts with the State Supreme Court finally saying the State regs were OK at about the time the damage was done and the pressure had dropped to levels too low to extract the associated oil.  The gas providers overstated the amount of gas available and actively fought regulation, even the kind that would protect the resource itself, through years of court action.  Sounds a little familiar, doesn't it?

            "When a nation goes down, or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along." --Carl Sandburg

            by Mote Dai on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 08:21:07 PM PST

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