Catastrophic methane gas increase in the atmosphere

Open fracking wells are main cause

For years, warnings about the increase of methane concentration in the atmosphere have been issued in vain. Especially because of its extreme climate impact, methane (CH4) gas deserves increased attention. Its climate impact is considerably more violent than that of the much discussed and feared carbon dioxide (CO2).

Methane is the main component of natural gas. Natural gas often comes to the earth's surface when crude oil is extracted. The oil deposits discovered in the past just below the earth's surface have long since been exhausted. For this reason, drilling is being carried out to find ever deeper deposits. Frequently, natural gas deposits have been and are being hit in the process. In the early days of oil production, the escaping natural gas was mostly flared off, because at that time people were more interested in thin or viscous crude oil in all its various chemical compositions.

There was no consideration for nature, for the environment and not even for human lives in the search for oil

The three Gulf wars in particular, which were primarily concerned with the possession of the world's second-largest oil reserves under Iraqi and Kuwaiti sovereign territory, demonstrated this carelessness:
  • In the first Gulf War between IRAQ and IRAN from Sept. 22, 1980, to Aug. 20, 1988, Iraq's claim to the oil-rich Iranian province of Khuzestan was an important reason for Iraq's declaration of war. The first Gulf War ended without the hoped-for terrain gains for the IRAK, but with about 1 million soldiers killed on the Iranian side.
  • The second Gulf War began Aug. 2, 1990, with a successful IRAQ raid on the oil-rich neighboring country of KUWAIT. Five months later, a U.S. coalition liberated KUWAIT and defeated Iraqi forces. The Iraqi Army set fire to Kuwaiti oil wells before withdrawing and was completely destroyed by air strikes as it retreated. The war ended on Feb. 28, 1991, with the surrender of the IRAQ.
  • The third Gulf War began on 20.03.2003 with an attack by mainly U.S. and British forces ("coalition of the willing") on the IRAK and ended on 01.05.2003 after conquest of the entire country. Saddam Hussein initially remained hidden, but was then discovered and hanged on 30.12.2006 after a short trial. Germany, France and Belgium opposed the attack on IRAQ. Until now the suspicion is not been eliminated, that the reasons for the war given by the USA (possession of weapons of mass destruction, were merely a pretext and that it was actually about gaining control over the oil deposits in Kuwait and the IRAK, which are considered to be the second largest oil deposits in the world.

Links between oil and gas

Relationships between oil and natural gas

At the same time as the fierce pursuit of a monopoly in the supply of liquid fuel for military and civilian purposes, there was also competition in the supply of combustible gas to industry and households. The suppliers of natural gas emphasized as an advantage that their natural gas - unlike the so-called "town gas" (with a high carbon monoxide content) - no longer caused fatal poisonings. Warnings about the extreme effects on the climate, on the other hand, were neglected. In the end, it was almost exclusively about financial advantages or disadvantages for suppliers and big industrial consumers and for the political lobbyists, e.g. Gerhard Schröder and Vladimir Putin as well as their current and former political counterparts in the USA.

Price comparison between natural gas and oil in the USA

Since similar technology is used to find and exploit natural gas deposits as is used to extract oil, there are price correlations between the price of natural gas and oil.
A 2015 U.S. Department of Energy record of the price of brent crude oil shows two main phases: Starting in 1999, there was an accelerated price increase in the U.S. from $10 to over $140 per barrel for almost a decade. But then - completely unexpectedly - between July 3 and December 26, 2008, there was a dramatic fall in prices from over 140 to under 40 dollars.
It seems idle to speculate about the causes. Certainly there are also connections with the big bank bankruptcy (keyword: Lehmann Brothers).
In any case, the consequences of this price development are easy to deduce: In the first phase, the phase of rising prices, it seemed worthwhile to invest in more and more fracking companies in the hope of further price increases.

From July 3, 2008, however, thousands of fracking companies had to file for bankruptcy. They had not had to set aside funds for the dismantling and plugging of the wells because of the lax approval procedures under legislation passed at the time of George W. Bush.

And since then, disaster has taken its course. One of the most climate-hostile gases, methane (CH4), is escaping into the atmosphere from hundreds of thousands of uncapped wells. As already indicated at the beginning: Climate scientists calculate a climate hostility of more than 20 times the CO2 to this gas despite its shorter life span in the atmosphere. When compared within the same short duration of effect, a methane molecule is even 84 times as harmful to the climate as a CO2 - molecule.

What must happen: Demands for compensation and punishment of the guilty ones do not help mankind, because nobody could survive a methane gas induced temperature rise. Therefore, in the fight against climate catastrophe, mankind must not forget to plug all the wells left behind by bankrupt fracking companies as soon as possible! Video - worth seeing!: (in Geman Language) Fracking-Methane - Deathblow for the Climate? | Harald Lesch