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The new Stanford Natural Gas Initiative examines the dynamic, multifaceted questions raised by the tremendous growth in natural gas production by focusing the efforts of Stanford’s faculty, researchers, and students in six key areas: Resource Development, Environmental Impacts and  Climate Change, Uses of Natural Gas, Global Markets and Finance, Policy and Regulatory Reform, and Geopolitical Impacts.

“If developed in an environmentally sustainable manner, globally abundant natural gas resources will enable large-scale fuel switching for electrical power generation. This will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution in many countries, while enhancing energy security and economic growth.  In this context, natural gas can play a critically important role as a transition fuel on the path to a decarbonized energy future.”

—Mark Zoback, Director, Stanford Natural Gas Initiative

News

It’s not carbon-free, but Natural Gas it has a transformative role to play in energizing developing nations.

Tourists flock to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve near Monterey, Calif., for its breathtaking coastal views and glimpses of the playful sea otters and other marine mammals that can be found among its waters. But the site has long attracted geologists for a very different reason.

Methane is the major component of natural gas, which recently surpassed coal as the top fuel for generating electricity in the United States, but is also a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, and because methane is highly flammable, gas leaks pose a significant safety hazard. Stanford research focuses on evaluating leak detection technologies and using those insights to inform emissions mitigation policy.