Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"The Natural Gas Riddle" (is the technology evolving too fast?)

From Deal Journal:
Deal Journal colleague Angel Gonzalez files this dispatch from the IHS CERA energy conference in Houston.

A lot of oil companies agree on the fact that natural gas is the fuel of the future. After all, it’s relatively clean, efficient, and abundant, a friendlier cousin to that environmental bête noire, crude oil.

What nobody seems to agree is how to get there. The market, continuously disrupted by technological strides and political developments, evolves too quickly for many companies to feel reassured about the billionaire investments needed to tap new fields.

Tuesday, at the IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates’annual conference in Houston, Eni SpA Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni put it in Winston Churchill’s words:

“The future of the gas market,” he said,”has become a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” So many moving parts are changing in the global gas dynamic that it seems impossible to settle on any one vision of the future, he said.

“Global gas consumption is set to grow,” the urbane Italian executive added. “On this I think we’re all in agreement. But how much? What will be the level of this growth?”...MORE