Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Anyone who talks about the opportunity to development an offshore natural gas industry in this province seems to meet with ridicule from the self-appointed defenders of the realm.

Last week, I listened to some people explain why developing Natural Gas is not happening. The technology is not there. One person stated that even the juniors would be out there at if the markets, technology and return where there.

That the technology and economy of scale does not exist is a truism in many people’s minds. In particular, the opinion and consensus makers whose “opinions” are beyond reproach.

The role of liquefied Natural Gas has been the focus of discussion in the debate over alternative energy sources for the island of Newfoundland and Labrador. There is no shortage of supply. The three producing fields are re-injecting or burning off natural gas that could be used to drive turbines to generate electricity in this province. 5.34 Trillion Cubic feet of recoverable Natural Gas has been identified. This is considered a conservative estimate.

The government and industry has studied the technical and economic aspects of developing a pipeline or LNG industry.

I posted about the potential impacts of LNG in British Columbia. Critics quickly said, that is different, that is simply pipelines. There is no exploration, no harsh Atlantic climate or deep water drilling.

What about Shell? Is this company crazy and out of touch, or a pioneer which is building technology that could be adapted in our offshore.

They are expending billions constructing the world’s first floating liquefied natural gas facility (FLNG) in Korea. The intend to unleash the potential of natural gas from the depths of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The Prelude FLNG facility will produce gas at sea, turn it into liquefied natural gas and then transfer it directly to the ships that will transport it to customers. 

It will be 1,600 feet long and 242 feet wide, which will make it the largest offshore floating facility ever built.

The company says this will help to unlock new energy resources offshore and has the potential to revolutionize the way natural gas resources are developed.

Makes one wonder if we are putting all of our eggs in one basket based on old ideas, yet  global gas consumption is set to increase by more than a third between 2011 and 2030 (source: IEA)

Why are we not leading doing more to ignite the potential of LNG ? 

Is that not what we signed on for when the futurist Danny Williams created NALCOR with a vision is to build a strong economic future for successive generations of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians

Is it possible that the LNG truism is flawed? That NLG is the key to global energy future? That the technology is not as far off as the "experts" tell us?

If the governments of Canada and Newfoundland had not created the incentives, partnered with oil companies to jump start the Newfoundland Offshore we might still be talking about reserves that can not be developed because the technology, markets and returns did not exist.

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