The world needs more energy – and cleaner energy – to power economic progress while keeping the planet healthy for future generations. Shell is producing more natural gas, the cleanest-burning fossil fuel.
We expect global demand for natural gas to increase by 60% by 2030, from its 2010 level. Shell is developing a number of long-term projects that will help meet this demand. We are also using advanced technologies to convert gas into other products, such as cleaner fuels for transport.
The tight gas revolution in North America and developments in other regions have transformed the global energy picture. There are around 250 years’ worth of natural gas resources available for development at today’s rate of consumption. That significantly increases the potential to power economies with the cleanest and most affordable fossil fuel. A natural gas-fired power plant produces around half the carbon-dioxide emissions of a coal-fired plant. It also costs less than half as much to build. It can be fired up or stood down quickly, making it ideal to complement intermittent renewable sources, such as wind or solar energy, to maintain a steady flow of electricity.
Shell is working to reduce the impact of tight gas production by applying some of the world’s most stringent safety and environmental standards. We are also encouraging government and industry to adopt better practices.
Most of the natural gas we produce comes from conventional fields. Our projects provide valuable energy resources to countries worldwide and local employment to the communities where we work. For example, the Corrib field, off the west coast of Ireland, has the potential to meet up to 60% of Ireland’s gas needs when the project starts production in around 2015. Ireland currently imports almost all of its energy.
The final stage of the project involves building the onshore section of the gas pipeline, which includes a 4.9 km tunnel under Sruwaddacon Bay, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Tunnelling work started at the end of 2012, following agreement on the pipeline route with our neighbours and local planning authorities.
Completing the Corrib project will sustain nearly 1,500 full-time jobs during construction. Once in production, around 175 full-time jobs will be maintained during the lifespan of the field in an area where little significant industrial or commercial employment previously existed.
Wind remains an important part of the current and future global energy mix. Shell has been developing wind power for more than a decade and is involved in 10 wind projects in North America and Europe. Our share of the energy capacity from these projects is 507 megawatts. Most of this comes from around 720 turbines at eight wind projects in the USA. We are also assessing other potential projects, all in North America.