Tag Archives: gas

Ecuador will receive 3.6 billion $ not to drill for oil in a historic pact

The race for oil drilling is tougher than ever, and the effects are quite often extremely damaging for the environment (I’m sure pretty much everybody knows about the BP oil spill already). However, the UN has come up with an initiative, the first of its kind, that promises to protect at least a handful of special environments. Such is the case with the Yasuni National Park, in Ecuador.

The Park is one of the most biologically diverse parts of the Amazon rainforest, and the Ecuadorian government signed not to destroy this pristine landscape at least for a decade, in the exchange of 3.6 billion dollars. The deal finalized, and U.N. Development Program associate administrator Rebeca Grynspan issued this statement:

We are witnessing the inauguration of new instruments of cooperation, which will act as a basis for supporting other national and international efforts directed toward the search for economies that are in harmony with society, nature and the planet.

With the sum being quite significant for Ecuador, they would probably made twice as much (or even more) from exploiting the oil located beneath the Yasuni Park – but at a huge cost. Currently, the U.N. are trying to work out similar arrangements with countries who plan on drilling in such areas.

Hell’s gate

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If a gate to hell existed, I bet this is how it would look like. Locals from the town of Darvaz in Uzbekistan were really inspired when they named it this way.

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When looking at the pictures, you’d be tempted to think this is some sort of a volcano or magma-related process, but it’s not. Geologists are actually responsible (they almost always are) for this huge burning hole that’s been lasting for 35 years already (and won’t be stopping in the near future).

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So, 35 years ago, they were digging and searching for gas. Then suddenly, they found an underground cavern so wide and deep that caused all their camping and equipment to fall underground.

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I can’t imagine this happening this exact way (I mean, where were they when the equipment fell?) but that’s how the story goes, and exaggerations are actually welcome.

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Anyway, nobody wanted to go down there because it was filled with poisonous gas, so in order to prevent the gas from getting out, they just decided to… burn it. Gotta hand it to geologists, they always find the best solutions – it’s what I would have done too.

Pictures source

Japanese project aims to turn CO2 into natural gas

Mankind is screwing up. I’m sorry, that’s just the way it is. Not taking care of our natural resources, polluting and destroying habitats, it’s obvious that we, as a species, made some pretty big mistakes, the combined effects of which will come back to haunt us (and already are). But that’s not to say that we’re doomed or something – on the contrary. We can and have to stop these damaging processes and reverse them as much as possible, but that’s not so easy; it’s like U-turning when you’re running at full speed, hard as hell.

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Finding a way to store or transform the CO2 is among the top priorities in this fight that we are in. If we can come even close to Al Gore’s challenge, we have to first come up with some innovative and efficient methods, and then apply them as quickly as possible.

Such a project was presented by Japanese researchers from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. The team led by Fumio Inagaki announced that they intend to employ the help of bacteria to transform carbon dioxide into regular natural gas. He said that such a bacteria exists ‘deep under the seabed off the northern tip of Japan’s main island’. However, the major difficulties here will be to find a way to ‘train’ the bacteria to become more and more effective and accelerate the process of creating methane gas.

They announced that in a few years from now they will be able to shorten the transformation period to 100 years; this may not seem spectacular at all, but it really is! As far as I know at least, this is the first viable idea to not only dispose of unwanted CO2, but even transform it into something useful, basically killing two birds with one stone. This may not have immediate results and does not eliminate the need for CO2 storage, but it rather suggests what we can do with it after it’s stored, being a long term solution.

Russia and Ukraine sign gas deal, ending gas stand-off, but conclusions are not great

Due to whatever economic or political reasons they had (as you know, we don’t do politics), Russia and Ukraine failed to reach an agreement regarding the flow of gas from Russia to the rest of Europe and as a result, the old continent was freezing; literally.

So throughout Europe, countries started digging deep into their energy savings and renewable energy; big surprise, in pretty much every case, this wasn’t enough. The conclusion was obvious: Russian gas is needed, and at least for the moment, it’s a significant part of the blood that runs through european veins.

But the good news is that Russia and Ukraine signed a deal on Monday that restores the circulation through Ukraine. The leaders of Russia’s Gazprom and the Ukraine’s gas company Naftogaz shook hands, without either side feeling truly satisfied.

So things are safe for another period of time, but without enough natural resources and countries scrambling for other sources, people are starting to look more and more into renewable sources, and this could be the green boom that Europe needs so bad.

California Uses More Gas than China

 

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Think about China today; the country with the most people in the world, who’s surface is in the top 5 of the world, and who’s industry is really developing, relying almost entirely on pollutant non-green fuels, which caused an increased and even dangerous degree of pollution. Still, despite the fact that it’s area is just under 100 times smaller, California uses more gas than the entire chinese popullation.

Also, don’t think that this is somehow caused by the fact that China uses little gasoline; this is definitely not the case. Actually, California uses more gas than any other country in the world (except of course for the US as a whole). That includes Germany, Russia, Brazil, any other country.

This stats was published in what is a very interesting report to read, posted by the Energy Commission’s State Alternative Fuels Planl. So it si definitely not going to be easy adapting to a greener alternative. Also, in the past 20 years, the gasoline used in California has increased by one half. But the fact remains that China’s “thirst” for oil increases and will probably continue to increase until they will adopt a sustainable strategy.

So taking into account these considerations, could we possibly believe Al Gore’s speech, where he claims that 10 years from now the US will be living entirely on carbon free sources of energy? This really is an interesting issue, and the results remain to be seen in the following years.