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EU shipping rules pushing fleets to natural gas

Tough rules on sulphur indicates that Europe is keen on natural gas Europes proposal to force shipping fleets to cut emissions of sulphur-dioxide gas will only add painful costs to an industry already in tight straights. But tough rules on sulphur, it seems, really indicates Europe is keen to get its shipping on readily available natural gas, which is forecast to remain plentiful until 2500.Its as wily a choice as First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill made 100 years ago, when he took the Royal Navy off of coal and got its warships running on bunker fuel. Burning oil proved decisive in both world wars, as it brought superior ship speed. Britains enemies had little of the stuff.The trouble is, natural gas engines can emit 90 per cent pure, unburned methane, a greenhouse gas 11 times more potent than carbon-dioxide. Switching to natural gas will dramatically cut carbon-dioxide but increase methane.There are already signs the industry itself realizes methane, and not sulphur, is the pollutant to target. An earlier costly initiative -- switching to natural gas engines in some ships -- proved it cut sulphur and carbon dioxide but released pure methane into the atmosphere.Under the new rules, the ...

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Japanese shipbuilders develop fuel-efficient carriers for natural gas

They can improve fuel efficiency by up to 25 percent and around 30 percent Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. said separately Tuesday that they have developed liquefied natural gas carriers that can improve fuel efficiency by up to 25 percent and around 30 percent, respectively, compared with conventional vessels.Mitsubishi Heavy said it plans to build a new steam turbine ship, featuring four LNG cylinder tanks on the deck covered by a huge hood intended to reduce head wind pressure, at its Nagasaki shipyard.Mitsui Engineering said its new ship can be fueled by heavy fuel oil or natural gas, allowing the operator to choose depending on fuel prices. Its ship is priced similar to comparable vessels offered by South Korean rivals, it said.Source: The Manichi Daily News

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Is the Natural Gas Industry Fracking Itself?

Developing a long-term investment strategy of renewable resources The number of social, political and economic problems we're facing today are nothing short of daunting.With the momentum of privatization of otherwise public works, and even subordinating elected officials to the whim of corporate profiteers as in Benton Harbor, MI, gives some indication of how powerful the corporatization of these United States of America is. On last week's front cover, Time Magazine pictured the Constitution with its ends being frayed with the query "Does it Matter?"One is thrown to ask, what is becoming of the American Psyche? Has this robust nation been subterfuged by the torpedoes of reality TV and the myopia of texting? Are fast food, micro-waved cooking and the fast-paced, cell phone, SUV culture with nary a care in the world grinding to a half, coming home to roost empty-handed?Thoughtful individuals who really care about our country and its values are giving all of this a lot of thought. And so interestingly, is one of the most hyped and fast-paced, money-at-any-expense industries in our nation: the natural gas industry.It wasn't long ago that natural gas was fairly simple and not costly to extract. It's not a sustainable technology but wasn't ...

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Lawmakers urge Obama to pursue energy security through natural gas

A long-term policy for secure and affordable energy Nine members of Congress, including several representatives of powerful national security committees, have prepared a letter imploring President Obama to press for expanded natural gas exploration and production in the United States -- primarily though the use of an unconventional and contentious technique known as horizontal hydraulic fracturing."As members of both political parties and as citizens in support of your call to get serious about a long-term policy for secure and affordable energy," reads the Monday dated letter from the group, comprised of four Republicans and five Democrats, "we urge you and members of your administration to take a leadership role in encouraging the continued development and utilization of our nation's vast natural gas resources by any means necessary, but most specifically, by unconventional shale gas recovery."Hydraulic fracturing involves the high-pressure injection of a cocktail of water, sand and a variety of chemicals thousands of feet underground to crack open rock formations and stimulate the release of natural gas. Though the process is not new, refinements in the technique -- including the ability to branch horizontally, in multiple directions, through deep-shale layers from a single bore hole -- are touted by the ...

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