IEA sees growth for natural gas under new standards

The International Energy Agency has released a new report suggesting that natural gas production and consumption could skyrocket within the next two decades given the proper industry controls.

The report, entitled "Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas," explores the potential for the expansion of unconventional natural gas exploration, both in major producers like the U.S. and Canada and in other countries without the same established industry.

Platts reports that the IEA suggests natural gas production could rise as much as 50 percent by 2035, keeping prices low and helping push gas from 21 percent to 25 percent of global consumption, moving past coal to become the second-largest fuel source behind oil.

However, this scenario depends heavily upon the imposition of certain environmental and corporate responsibility standards, as the IEA projects that opposition to unconventional natural gas projects could severely limit production growth.

"The technology and the know-how already exist for unconventional gas to be produced in an environmentally acceptable way," IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven said in a statement. "But if the social and environmental impacts are not addressed properly, there is a very real possibility that public opposition to drilling for shale gas and other types of unconventional gas will halt the unconventional gas revolution in its tracks."

PennEnergy's Research area offers explorations of unconventional gas potential.

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