Gas 'golden age' hinges on frack standards

06 June 2011

IEA sees unconventional future

A "GOLDEN age" of increased gas production and consumption depends on unconventional gas gaining wider acceptance, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today. Global gas use could rise more than 50% to 5.1 trillion tonnes by 2035, meeting more than 25% of energy demand, according to the IEA’s new gas report. Gas is also forecast to overtake coal by 2030, with unconventional gas expected to meet 40% of demand during "the golden age of gas" – but only if hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is embraced. "The golden age of gas hinges on, among other things, whether or not the gas industry is able to address this issue," Fatih Birol, IEA chief economist, said. "And if strict regulation and best practices are applied, we can mitigate risks." Unconventional gas production has met with some resistance, not least because it is a water-intensive process and there are concerns about the disposal...

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