1. Hydraulic fracturing for gas extraction is for wimps! Real Men use nuclear explosives:
    ” conventional means for extraction, particularly the levels of capital required, … make it unlikely that these normal means will produce any significant impact on the gap in economic supply that will develop in the near future. The use of nuclear explosives has the potential to solve that problem. And to explain, rather simply how this might be done,,,, I will explain how, conceptually, this might be achieved.”
    I think this was tried once before and the resultant gas produced was to radioactive for commercial distribution.

  2. I think this was tried once before and the resultant gas produced was to radioactive for commercial distribution.
    Just going by memory, I think the main problem was the methane was too contaminated by CO2 on account of a great deal of limestone being in the vicinity of the blast.

      1. I’m getting old. I forgot that I was the one that wrote the passage on natural gas stimulation in January 2006 for the Operation Plowshare entry.

        1. For some reason I wasn’t automatically signed in. I am the ‘Guest’ in the first post and the reply to Rod in the second…

    1. unfortunately, when you read Dr. Robert Howarth’s two-page preliminary assessment http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/howarth/GHG%20emissions%20from%20Marcellus%20Shale%20–%20with%20figure%20–%203.17.2010%20draft.doc.pdf , you find that he cites Jacobson & DeLucchi (2009) wind, water, solar by 2030 treatise. Big downcheck from me. Perhaps the Cornell University David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology & Environmental Biology should talk to Prof Brook at the Univ of Adelaide.
      On a interesting note, Prof Howarth brings up a good question: how much methane is released by coal mining. In the aftermath of the accident at the Upper Big Branch mine in WV, many articles noted that it was a “gassy” mine. I would think that it would be relatively easy to calculate the amount of methane being ventilated from a mine, given the mine volume and the amount of ventilation required to maintain the methane concentration at a “safe” level.

      1. In fact, fire-damp (what coal-miners call methane) is a constant hazard in most bituminous coal mines, so much so that most mine disasters are caused by it (the hazard gets even worse when combined with coal dust, another fun explosive). Coal mining has to be a very major source of methane, which is just left to outgas and cause warming – if it doesn’t blow the mine up first.

  3. They are running around up here in Canada trying to drum up support in Provinces that have no natural gas fields like Quebec, telling everyone that there are huge amounts of gas to be had from the Utica shale formation under the Saint Lawrence Valley accessible by hydraulic fraking.
    I’m thinking now that we should turn the tables on the gas industry. Maybe we should start a mime that goes somewhat along the lines of after the water method the next step will be nuclear explosives. If we don’t stop them now, that what it will come to.

  4. Blowing up stuff underground seems a bit like an act of desperation. I can only imagine that this could lead to subsidence for people on the surface, if they don’t hit something like a fault, which would not be good.

    1. Dave
      Subsidence is a problem in all areas where gas and oil are extracted. In mining areas, too. You don’t have to remove a mountaintop to mess up the surface.
      Alas, I learned more about the oil patch than I really wanted to know, while I was in geothermal.

  5. I see fracking shale to produce natural gas is not a bad thing for nuclear energy, the fracked shale contains an enormous amount of uranium, and by opening up by fracking, the gas industry has laid the groundwork for in situ uranium mining with very low energy costs.

  6. Rod, wonderful post!
    I was just up in Montreal for a few days, spending my money in Canada, just like the rest of Vermont does. (Vermont buys electrons, my husband and I bought fabulous French-Canadian food and some museum entrances. More fun than electrons.) Anyhow, I read the Canadian newspapers. They always have a slightly different slant than our stateside papers. One news item up there was that “Canadian environmental activists” are once again threatening to blow up the gas wells and pipelines in British Columbia. They are doing this in response to the environmental effects of extracting and purifying natural gas.
    Maybe these guys should meet the “Sierra Club environmental activists”? A good idea, you think?
    How do you spell “environmentalist” in most cases?
    N I M B Y

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