As natural gas production continues to increase through the Appalachian region, methane emissions are on the decline. As companies continue to produce, they are finding safer and more environmentally sound ways to get natural gas out of the ground. Methane is the primary component of natural gas, and if leaked into the atmosphere, absorbs the sun’s heat. It is considered a greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gases, once in the atmosphere, act like an insulator around the earth. The absorb heat while still letting light through.
The Permian Basin, located in west Texas and southeastern New Mexico, has just become the world’s top oil producer. The Saudi Ghawar oilfield “produced 3.8 million BPD in 2018. The Energy Information Administration reports that the Permian Basin is now producing 4.2 million BPD.” As U.S. production increases in the Permian, crude is king and natural gas is considered a byproduct – a very different situation than what is seen in the Appalachian region. Where Appalachia is focused on producing natural gas, Permian cannot get rid of it fast enough.
Uber is planning to take their ride-sharing app to the sky with the help of NASA. “‘We think cities are going to go vertical in terms of transportation and we want to make that a reality,’ Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CBS News.” Uber is preparing to launch UberAir services in three cities: Los Angeles, Dallas, and a third undecided city outside of the U.S. Uber’s focus will be around the software and managing of trips. The actual flying vehicles will be designed by outside companies.
Total SA, a French oil company, has made a significant discovery of gas condensate approximately 175 kilometers (109 miles) off of the southern coast of South Africa. Total had been drilling in the area in 2014 but had to cease operations “…because of mechanical problems on the rig, caused by the challenging environment in the Agulhas, with its chaotic combination of currents, waves and winds, which contrasts sharply with the mild metocean conditions of the West African deepwater.” The company restarted operations in December of 2018 and produced an improved result.
As 2019 begins, U.S. liquefied natural gas is anticipating the most significant year of exports ever. “The U.S. is poised to triple export capacity to around 10 Bcf/d by the end of next year, and we could be on our way to be the world's largest exporter before 2025.” Mexico and South Korea are currently the largest imports of U.S. natural gas accounting for nearly 40% of U.S. exports, but the demand is impacting the entire globe. China, while currently imposing a 10% tariff on the product, also shows high demand. As U.S. production booms, the rest of the world is watching its supply capabilities.