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Gas used to be a unwanted side product of both exploring and refining. This has changed. Gas is becoming to expensive to flame it of. It is harvested and piped away to nearby users (and as gas pipelines were initiated to also long distance users) or cooled down and/or pipeless shipped as LNG to foreign markets. In many nations there is a high density peripheral natural gas infrastructure installed in all the cities/villages. The US has plenty or natural gas for domestic use for decades to come. Europe has Norway/UK/Holland and will become more and more dependent on Gazprom of Russia. Norway has canceled new gas production projects as they as they have calculated probably will reduce oil pressure in the same Troll field. New investments in gas production of the Troll field that reduce oil output where investments already were done, was wisely considered not economic. Gas is a very attractive energy source. Its logistics is invisible and relatively cheap, its use can be turned on/off in a second both by the enduser. In power generation it's a fuel that no needed a new infrastructure, burns clean, is suitable for decentral power production (and thereby rest warmth use in domestic heating projects) and gas-to-power plants can be turned on/off in very short time (making it a very attractive peakload targeted fuel). In the US T. Boone Pickens (a 81 year old oil baron of BP Capital Inc.) want to replace the gas that is used for 20% of the power baseload generation by windenergy. His plan can be found on and gets attention of both presidential candidates (Obama and McCain). Australia is becoming the LNG export country of the world. The Middle East uses their gas for power generation. Russia and Iran have a huge gas surplus. Gas is geopolitics as it is an economic lifeline. Bombing out a gasline is putting a continent in the dark for several days. In the winter this will have even more impact. Nations seek both pipe redundancy and supplier redundancy. Russia and the USA understand energy politics. The rest of the world are the dummies. Georgia was a power interference between Russia and the US. Both Georgia/US (invasion independent region South Ossetia that wants to be reunited with North Ossetia) as Russia (nuking every military installation in Georgia to the ground as 'don't mess with Russia' signal) can be blamed for this conflict. The US want to supply Europe by a pipeline trough Georgia with Iraqi and maybe Iranian oil/gas. An invasion of Iran by the USA is no option anymore as India, China, Russia and Venezuela support Iranian independency for their own interest) gas. Europe must find its own (constructive) way with Russia and leave the USA out of this discussion. Russia likes to gain friends. Real friends serving mutual interests. Medvedev is the bridge of Putin to Europe. Europe must offer Russia real mutual/friendship based deals. The business facet must become mutual. Russia is a water, food and energy surplus nation. Not the USA, not China, but Russia and Brazil will become the economic heavy weights of the 21st century. Russia has an authoritarian type of capitalism, that could easy to a healthy open free democratic capitalistic type of democracy. While Russia is turning down the KGB, the USA is building DHS. The USA was the home nation of freedom. Freedom was in the US genes, due the history if both the nation and its immigrants. While Russia is building capitalism, the USA will socializing the financial, car and airline industry. Global production of fertilizer is moved to gas rich nations like Russia and Iran (due to the huge gas demand of the Haber-Bosch process), making by the current fertilizer technology Russia and Iran the bottleneck of our cheap food system. Fertilizer production by coal is possible, but requires much more energy (and is thereby more expensive). Algae and/or bacteria based fertilizing technologies are important for food independence of all nations of the world. Gas can be processed to liquid fuel. Due the process costs energy it is less energy efficiency, but still it's possible. Gas con compressed used as mobility fuel. In several cities in Holland the public mobility buses are fueled by compressed natural gas.

Author: Gijs Graafland

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