Meanwhile, in San Ramon, California, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs and Chevron Corporation announced the formation of an alliance to develop new technologies to improve the efficiency of recovering oil and natural gas resources.
The alliance’s initial focus is to develop a wide range of technologies—including power transmission, signal processing and electrical actuation—for application in deepwater…
The technology developed by JPL for interplanetary missions is also useful for gaining a better understanding of the geology of Earth. For example, JPL developed technology that enables electronic communication over millions of miles in outer space. That same technology may have application in deepwater energy operations, which extend thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean and encounter extreme pressures and temperatures.
This is good news because energy is a major part of the economy and could mean more jobs and a boost for new industries. Keeping energy costs low is crucial to reducing inflation. I do not subscribe to the notion of “peak oil” and am leaning towards the theory of an “abiotic” source for oil and natural gas. Heavy hydrocarbons may be formed naturally deep in the earth’s crust.
More and more countries around the world are discovering and starting to exploit their petroleum and natural gas resources. Texas was the first state in the US to start drilling for natural gas in the Barnett Shale deposits which are located at depths of about 8,000 ft, making Texas an important petro-energy producer once again after its oil wells started running low several decades ago. Now, shale gas is being recovered from locations all over North America from the Utica Shale and Marcellus Shale formations. Shale gas deposits are being discovered and exploited in China, India and other Asian nations, South Africa and other parts of Africa, Poland and some other European nations, Australia and Argentina.
In addition, Brazil is set to become the newest oil exporter with Namibia possibly hot on their heels.
So, the bottom line is that petroleum and natural gas are going to be around for a long time as mainstays of energy sources.