Boone Pickens and Natural Gas

Every one knows that Boone Pickens is promoting the use of natural gas as one of his methods reducing American dependence on foreign oil.

Seemingly, as an afterthought, Mr. Pickens adds, “Sure, Drill, drill, drill … but that misses the point.”

Well, someone correct me if I’m wrong; but, unless your talking about coal gasefication or in some way extracting natural gas from shale oil deposits, I think you have to “drill, drill , drill” to get natural gas. In other words, it doesn’t grow on trees.

Now, I know that Mr. Pickens has the reputation of being sort of one of these western cowboy types … being from Texas, but I don’t think he was referring to placing rectal tubes in those cowboys from “Blazing Saddles” as his main source of “natural” gas, compressed or otherwise.

Natural gas is, in fact, a “renewable” source of energy. It can be produced from the fermentation of waste products as those cowboys around the camp fire amply exhibited. I seriously doubt that Mr. Pickens was referring to the “renewable” aspect of natural gas, though.

Currently, commercially significant natural gas comes from wells … which have to be drilled. So, unless gasefication of fossil fuel liquids and solids becomes a more prominent source of natural gas, drilling new wells and exploration for new deposits of natural gas which frequently occurs in the same wells as crude oil will be the main technique for expanding our natural gas supply.

As a side note, Mr. Pickens has referred to Iran converting to natural gas instead of gasoline for its transportation needs. I doubt that this is based on any environmental concerns. Iran lacks refining capacity and has to import refined gasoline just as we do because of our lack of sufficient refining capacity. Since natural gas doesn’t have to be refined, it is a natural solution to their critical shortage of refining capacity and could, in the short term, relieve our shortage in refining capacity.


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