In an article written by Gwynne Dyer, he fights the notion that shale gas won’t change the game. But the fact is natural gas has already changed the game. ONGA’s Mel Ydreos responds with further reasons as to why:
“The fact is that the game has indeed changed, and here is why.
Not only does North America have a 100-year supply of natural gas, thanks to prolific shale gas development, experts now predict there is closer to 150 years worth of domestic supply. In fact, due to advancements in the technology used to extract natural gas from shale, this new source of gas now represents a quarter of the natural gas consumed in Ontario, and this is expected to grow. While the amount of gas available from traditional production areas such as Alberta is less than it was a few years ago, the massive growth in natural gas shale production will more than make up the difference.
Further, many of the new shale resources also contain natural gas liquids such as ethane and propane, and the value associated with the production of these liquids in addition to the gas, makes the development of these reserves economic even at today’s low gas prices.
As a result, Ontario consumers, businesses and industries are paying some of the lowest prices for natural gas we’ve seen in the past decade, and experts predict prices will remain affordable into the next decade. In fact, the typical household has spent $400 less on natural gas in 2012 than they did just five years ago, and the savings are even greater for businesses and industry because of higher consumption levels. This translates into average annual energy savings of $4 billion for Ontario households and industry. And affordable natural gas is providing a significant economic boost to many local industries such as the growing mining industry.
Natural gas is also making a positive impact on the environment by replacing coal-fired generation and presents a tremendous opportunity to fuel gasoline-powered transportation. Natural gas has only about half the greenhouse gas emissions of coal and 30% less than diesel-or gasoline-powered vehicles.
When it comes to the extraction of natural gas from shale, industry, regulators, governments and non-governmental organizations are working collaboratively to ensure that the extraction process is understood and that rules and regulations reflect the balance between this economic opportunity and protecting our natural environment.
New technologies, processes and regulations will ensure shale gas is extracted safely, so we can all continue to benefit from this abundant North American natural resource.”