Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill: Natural Gas to the Rescue!

After three weeks of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon drill ship explosion, there finally are some reports of good news.  The good news?  Less oil and more natural gas is escaping the well.  That's good for two reasons: 1) when the gas reaches the surface it will evaporate into the atmosphere rather than wash ashore and 2) the physical properties of gas will make containment efforts considerably easier.

Last year I read Robert Hefner's book/memoir on his years in the natural gas business, The Grand Energy Transition, and one of his arguments that natural gas is a superior fuel is that natural gas spills are far easier to clean up than oil spills.  I never doubted that idea, but the superstitious person in me compared it to an airline boasting that it has never had a plane crash. In retrospect, it is a very good point to make. 

Will natural gas save the day?

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