Seabed Gas Illustrates Energy-Rich Future

Seabed Gas Illustrates Energy-Rich Future
January 17, 2012

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)

The UK Times has published an article (republished in the Australian) explaining how scientists are hopeful of retrieving vast amounts of natural gas frozen in global seabeds. The article, titled “Seabed gas find blows all other energy sources out of the water,” claims such seabed-trapped natural gas potentially contains “more energy than all the world’s known coal, oil and gas reserves combined.” Japanese and Norwegian scientists are particularly enthusiastic about the seabed natural gas resources, the article explains.

The economic feasibility of producing large quantities of natural gas from seabed resources appears to be several years, if not decades, away. Nevertheless, that was the outlook for producing large quantities of natural gas from shale deposits less than a decade ago.

The more important short-term lesson learned is that “peak oil” remains nothing but a myth. Fossil fuel opponents have been preaching “the end is near” for decades, yet we continue to discover vast new energy resources and we continue to develop increasingly economical and efficient means of recovering them. The assertion that we must undertake state-directed efforts to transform our economy to prohibitively expensive energy sources such as wind and solar to avoid an imminent price-and-availability shock regarding fossil fuels is an unnecessary prescription for declining living standards and economic ruin.

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)