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ISBN-13 9780133353563ISBN-10 0133353567
ISBN-10 0133353516ISBN-13 9780133353518
Author(s): Robert W. Kolb
Publisher: Pearson FT Press
Copyright year: © 2014 Pages: 304

A natural gas revolution is transforming the global energy industry, redistributing economic and geopolitical power in stunningly unexpected ways. New gas resources promise a major economic stimulus, and the enrichment of human life worldwide – if we can manage the serious environmental risks they present. The explosive growth of “unconventional” natural gas exploration has been publicized widely. Now, for the first time, Robert W. Kolb places it in broader context, explaining what it will really mean to global economics, geopolitics, investors, the environment, and consumers.

Kolb begins with a non-technical introduction to the energy situation as it was perceived in 2005, before the natural gas revolution began. Next, he clearly explains the key technological developments that have enabled it: hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), horizontal drilling, and the development of a robust worldwide LNG infrastructure.

Kolb illuminates both the promise and peril of “unconventional” natural gas, illuminating the implications of larger, more widely distributed, and more environmentally-friendly hydrocarbon resources. Will natural gas permit a more orderly transition to solar and other renewables? Will “fracking” and horizontal drilling poison the aquifers cities depend on for clean drinking water? Will "fracking" increase earthquake risks?

Kolb next explains how the natural gas revolution is roiling world energy markets, predicts their response to today’s wild price imbalances, and identifies surprising implications for both investors and consumers – for example, a potentially faster transition to cleaner transportation. He concludes by identifying nations and regions that may achieve unexpected energy independence from current suppliers – and even become exporters.