ARLINGTON, Va. — The use of natural gas as a transportation fuel is increasing in an “era of unconventional” fuel sources, executives of several energy producers said at ATA’s Summit on Natural Gas in Trucking on Thursday.
There are abundant unconventional resources of natural gas with more than a dozen areas of shale gas that are active and becoming active, including the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Marcellus shales, said Richard Germain, manager of technology ventures at ConocoPhillips.
Germain described a “paradigm shift” in natural-gas exploration and extraction that has dramatically altered the outlook on the fuel. Back in 2005, the conventional wisdom was that natural-gas prices would remain high and supply was becoming more limited, he said.
But drillers are now tapping into “source rock” through the use of hydraulic fracturing - or "fracking" - and horizontal drilling techniques, he said.
“In just 10 years, we’ve gone from thinking that the natural-gas supply was in irreversible decline and we would need to be importing vast amounts of [liquefied natural gas] . . . to the point where we now think we have up to 100 years of domestic supply of gas,” Germain said.