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Discussion Touches On Unconventional Oil, Gas Development

By | October 16, 2013 - 3:30 pm

energy and security bookUnconventional oil and gas development will be part of the discussion on Friday when energy advisory consultant David Goldwyn speaks at an Alaska World Affairs Council event. Goldwyn is co-author and editor of Energy and Security: Strategies for a World in Transition. The revised 2nd edition addresses new energy frontiers, rising safety concerns for energy complexes and energy poverty. Goldwyn says the revolution in shale development in the Lower 48 has changed the future of domestic energy development.

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Unconventional oil and gas development will be part of the discussion on Friday when energy advisory consultant David Goldwyn speaks at an Alaska World Affairs counsel event. Goldwyn is co-author and editor of Energy and Security: Strategies for a World in Transition. The revised 2nd edition addresses new energy frontiers, rising safety concerns for energy complexes and energy poverty. Goldwyn says the revolution in shale development in the lower 48 has changed the future of domestic energy development.

Goldwyn : “I think we are looking at a significant supply growth for the foreseeable future, probably peaking at 8 million barrels a day for oil and 100 year supply for gas.  So I think the supply side is pretty secure. I think on the safety and environmental side, I think there were some significant missteps by industry with a lack of disclosure, which I think was a huge mistake and now the conversation has evolved to concerns about wellbore safety and methane emissions, and water safety, making the air and water safe. So I think there are technological answers to be sure it can be safe. The question is whether state regulations are requiring best practices are used and enforced to make sure the low cost producers do the right thing and if they’re not, they are punished.”

Townsend: YOU MENTIONED A 100 YEAR SUPPLY, WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT MEANS FOR THE VIABILITY OF ALASKA’S GAS?

Goldwyn: “Well I think the future of Alaska gas is for export not consumption in continental United States. That said, the opportunities for export of natural gas are robust on a worldwide basis, from a climate change perspective, there is an enormous opportunity to substitute gas for coal and in parts of the world for biomass. So there’s a lot of demand, but the challenge is there’s a lot of stranded gas in the world and Alaska is going to have to compete with Australia and Qatar and others.“

Townsend: ALL OF THIS FOSSIL FUEL DEVELOPMENT IS UP AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF A CHANGING CLIMATE, ESPECIALLY IN ALASKA WHERE IT’S HAPPENING MUCH FASTER. DO YOU ADDRESS THIS IN YOUR BOOK AND WHAT DO YOU THINK NEEDS TO HAPPEN TO MITIGATE CLIMATE CONCERNS?

Goldwyn: “It’s really addressed throughout the book. I think we have an opportunity from the gas boom to get some short and medium term greenhouse gas reductions. And that’s because in the next 10 years we can get some more greenhouse gas reductions by substituting gas for coal and biomass and in the Middle East for oil, than we can from any other technology on the market. So I think we really need to secure those gains and embrace natural gas for now. But, we’re never going to get to 50 percent reductions by 2050 until we have some technological breakthroughs and those are on carbon sequestration and utility scale battery storage.”

David Goldwyn is a co-author of Energy and Security: Strategies for a World in Transition. He’ll be speaking in Anchorage on Friday.

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