LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) exports offer an exciting opportunity in the energy field for quick-thinking entrepreneurs. This web site explores the opportunity. Emphasis is on the state of Louisiana where the development of the massive Haynesville Shale Formation presents that state with an unique opportunity.
Back to Basics!
Natural gas reserves are now growing at a rapid rate in the United States due largely to the development of massive shale formation natural gas, e.g. Haynesville, Barnett, Marcellus, Fayetteville, etc. Ten years ago, the existence of these shale formations was known but the formations were virtually ignored because the necessary technology did not yet exist to recover gas from the shale. Now the technology does exist and the gas is being recovered from the shale formations at such a huge rate that we are being almost swamped by excess natural gas. We need to make use of the excess to replace oil of which the world is rapidly running out of. Exporting of some of the excess natural gas (as LNG) is explored in this web site.
Although drilling in the Haynesville Formation has been underway for only about three years or so, it is becoming apparent that the formation contains at least 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and, possibly, over 300 trillion cubic feet of gas. And, as drilling results come in, the total area of the field continues to grow in all four directions. Once thought confined to Northwest Louisiana, the northeastern edge of Texas is now feeling the driller's bit as the drillers seek the Haynesville there with excellent results. Central Texas contains the natural gas - rich Barnett Shale formation which could likely be lumped in with the Haynesville Shale natural gas in the LNG export project to be described, herein.
Southwest Arkansas is also bracing for an invasion of natural gas seekers as drilling in Louisiana approaches the Southwest Arkansas border. (Arkansas is already home to a newly developed shale formation gas field - the Fayetteville - which lies in the middle & northern part of the state.)
It should also be noted that the boundaries of the Haynesville Formation is also pushing southward and is now approaching Natchitoches, Louisiana.
When and where will we reach the end of this vast reservoir of natural gas?
Although the technology for recovering natural gas from shale formations is very new, the technology for liquefying and transporting liquid natural gas is well-established.
The ingredients necessary for a thriving LNG export business - a massive supply of gas and developed technology for recovering, liquefying, and transporting the gas - are both present. It only remains for entrepreneurs to put the ingredients together and a LNG export business will be formed. Although I would prefer that my home state of Louisiana take the lead on this opportunity, if they hesitate, other states should pick up the ball and run with it. It is too important a concept to not move forward with it.
In the opinion of the author, the natural gas to be recovered from shale formations .(over 25 natural gas - containing shale formations have been discovered in the U.S. so far.) is an opportunity for huge exports of LNG to other countries. It is ironic than only 5 years ago, the U.S. was planning to import large amounts of LNG from overseas as our then-known domestic natural gas reserves declined. Now, the tables have turned and the authors are of the opinion that the U.S., particularly the state of Louisiana, should move quickly to exploit the sudden natural gas riches.
LNG exports would offer an opportunity for very substantial cash returns on investments. Some of the large LNG importing nations (Japan and Korera) have virtually no natural gas reserves but have a huge appetite for the fuel. It goes with saying that some of these countries would prefer to have a natural gas source other than the Middle East.
It is an opportunity whose time has come! Lets move!
The infrastructure and associated projects required for a large, successful LNG export endeavor is considerable. Briefly, 5 to 10 Gulf of Mexico offshore platforms would be required along with associated on-shore liquefication plants. Pipelines would have to be constructed from the Shreveport-Bossier area to the Gulf of Mexico to transport the natural gas.
The full development of the Haynesville formation natural gas reserves will require 5,000 to 10,000 wells to be drilled. This will mean that close to 100,000 rig and pipeline workers will have to be brought into the Shreveport-Bossier area. Accompanying these rig workers will be construction workers, engineers, accountants, landmen, lawyers. (Note: This Haynesville formation development work has been underway for three years.)
Hopefully, the Red River can supply enough water for the frac jobs required for each well. If not, a large water pipeline may have to be constructed to the Mississippi River located about 200 miles away. Regardless of where the water is obtained from, water treatment plants will be required.
Once brought to the surface, the natural gas would require facilities for condensate removal and for pressurization sufficient to transport the gaseous fuel to the Gulf of Mexico terminals.
It is important that we develop a major LNG exporting project for the Haynesville shale (and nearby shale formations) for the following reasons.
1. The large amounts of new natural gas being brought to market by shale formation development will further depress the price of natural gas until drilling for the gas will be sharply curtailed. This will bring on an abrupt slowdown in gas drilling.
While some environmentalists would be happy for the drilling slowdown, it does not bode well for the overall fight against impending Peak Oil. Peak oil is on the way and we cannot stop it without the development of alternative energy sources. Rapid development of the Haynesville Shale natural gas is probably the largest single step we can take to meet the Peak Oil challenge.
2. The massive amounts of natural gas which would be produced by shale formation development makes possible the implementation of the innovative "Picken's Plan" which utilizes natural gas as a bridge fuel until wind power and other alternative energy sources can be developed.
3. For Louisiana, the presence of the massive Haynesville Shale formation, makes Louisiana probably the state with the largest supply of quickly available energy. The 300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves rivals some of the Middle East countries in energy reserves. If Louisiana doesn't take advantage of this God-given natural gas reservoir by implementing a large LNG exporting industry, a great opportunity will be lost. Instead of a self-sufficient, cash-rich state, Louisiana would remain on the bottom of the state heap with an arm and hand outstretched toward Washington and a tin cup in that hand.
1. LNG - Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is an easily transportable form of natural gas. The use of LNG around the globe is rapidly increasing. Because of the recent massive shale formation natural gas discoveries, the U.S. should get into the LNG export business.
2. Natural Gas - Huge quantities of natural gas are now being found in shale formations in the U.S. Much of this natural gas should be available for export. Exporting the natural gas as LNG should be feasible.
3. Haynesville Shale Formation - The Haynesville natural gas strike in Northwest Louisiana is one of the largest natural gas fields in the U.S. (and possibly the world!) This natural gas reservoir, if properly developed and used, could make the U.S. totally independent as far as natural gas usage is concerned.
4. Germany in World War 2 - The Germans fought hard in World War 2.
The development of shale formation natural gas in the U.S. is making available a huge quantity of natural gas. This excess of natural gas should be exported from the U.S. to foreign countries as an LNG product.