As populations and economies continue to grow globally, energy demand will
grow proportionally. Extensive work by Tertzakian (2007, 2009) has shown
crude-oil supplies may not keep pace with this increased demand. The shortfall
must be met by other energy sources.
Only two current energy sources have the global capacity to, by themselves,
address increased energy demand in a timely manner. These are natural gas and
Traditionally, the major use of crude oil has been for processing into
transportation fuels, with lesser amounts being used for petrochemicals and
home heating. Natural gas and coal have been used primarily for electrical
generation and heating.
A pivotal transition will likely occur in which natural gas and coal begin
to see increased use as transportation fuels. A battle for market share between
primary fuels will likely ensue.
The objective of this paper is to present data comparing the environmental
impact of using methane vs. coal. A compelling case for the use of natural gas
as the future "green fuel" emerges.
© 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- Original manuscript received:
26 November 2010
- Meeting paper published:
19 October 2010
- Revised manuscript received:
5 July 2011
- Manuscript approved:
8 July 2011
- Published online:
9 March 2012
- Version of record:
1 May 2012