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Future of Natural Gas in the Mediterranean Basin - Essay Example

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Natural gas is a combustible mixture of hydrocarbon gases. While natural gas is formed primarily of methane, it can also include ethane, propane, butane and pentane. Natural Gas is a vital component of the world's supply of energy. It is one of the cleanest, safest, and most useful of all energy sources…
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Future of Natural Gas in the Mediterranean Basin
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Download file to see previous pages Shale gas is obtained from shale, a sedimentary rock, and in the past decade has become an important source of natural gas in the United States and Canada.
North Africa possesses massive oil and gas reserves, viewed as strategically vital because of their proximity to European consumers across the Mediterranean Sea. "In terms of natural gas reserves, Algeria, Libya and Egypt contain the majority of the regional resource, except that Algeria is the main site of the reserves. Algeria is the eighth largest country worldwide in terms of proven gas reserves. Algeria possesses the majority of the gas resource at around 159 trillion ft3, followed by Egypt with 58.5 trillion ft3and Libya at 54.38 trillion ft3. Proved gas reserves have grown significantly over the past decade, with the most significant new finds in Egypt. Egypt joined the ranks of LNG exporters in 2005" (Yamaguchi, 2009)
These African countries have an edge over their Russian counterparts in terms of supplies of gas to these southern European countries. The Russian companies are far away from southern European countries as compared to these African countries. In future the supply from these African countries will continue to cater to the demand of the Mediterranean region. These African countries are also encouraging foreign investments in this sector. With demand in the southern European countries rising each year, more and more European companies are entering into collaborations with the North African companies in all the segments including upstream, midstream and downstream. With these investments, new gas field are being found, more pipelines are being constructed in the Mediterranean region. On combustion, natural gas produces less harmful gases as compared to the petroleum products. For this reason, the future demand for natural gas is increasing with every passing year.
In the Mediterranean region as well, this demand is expected to grow in the coming years. Europe does not have reserves which can cater to its 100% demand. Hence southern European countries are dependent on North African countries for their gas requirement.
In the last decade, shale gas has become an increasingly important source of natural gas in the United States and Canada. There are speculations that shale gas may be present in other parts of the world as well. Very recently, the United States has also offered to help other nations in determining whether they have natural gas resources trapped in shale rock. This is a good move from the Government of the United States but the whole process of finding out reserves, taking out gas from shale rocks, bringing this to market; all this will take time. The countries around the world are looking at this shale gas with suspect eyes because of the technology required to extract gas from rocks.
Solar energy is increasingly becoming a big source of energy supply to the ever increasing demand for energy in the European countries. North African countries have huge deserted lands where huge solar plants can be installed and energy could be supplied to Mediterranean region. But the question is, is this feasible enough It has been proved that solar power is much costlier than the power ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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