Thursday, December 17, 2009

ExxonMobil moves to shale gas

An interesting piece here by the Daily Finance's Mark Svenvold. ExxonMobil is buying up North American shale gas:

ExxonMobil's move into shale gas comes at a time when natural gas is increasingly weaponized. When Ukraine balked at Russia's price for natural gas in January 2006, Russian president Vladimir Putin shut off Ukraine's gas supply -- in the dead of winter. And in a brief 2008 war between Georgia and Russia, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline -- one of two pipelines supplying much of Europe's natural gas -- was almost hit by mortar fire.

The use of North American shale gas could help neutralize such a supply-chain risk. And experts agree that natural gas is fast becoming the primary transitional fuel, bridging our reliance today on fossil fuels with a future ideal dependent on renewable energy. So while StatOil's and ExxonMobil's drives into domestic natural gas might seem to make little economic sense, they're part of a long-term strategy.

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