Shepstone Management Company, Inc.
Natural gas news from a hundred years ago offers great perspective for discussing one of the cleanest sources of energy available then and still today.
I thought it might be fun and illuminating to look back 100 years ago at what was happening with natural gas. It is eye opening, given all we’ve learned over the last century and, of course, there is little new under the sun. Consider these news items (emphasis added):
Monroe, Louisiana News-Star, February 11, 1922
Industries Looking Toward Monroe After World War and Panic,
Thanks to Natural Gas Supply!
If present plans mature the next few months, or at least the present year, will witness the establishment of more industrial plants at Monroe, or in the vicinity of this city. A site for the building of these plants has already been secured and others are negotiating with a view to opening up here, or, at least, in the Northeastern Louisiana field.
The names and various other details regarding industrial events are being withheld for the present, but those in a position to know say there is certain to be a revival of industry here during the year. New industrial companies are being drawn here by natural gas resources, which give cheap fuel.
Among all residents of Monroe there is a general feeling that this is the lucky year. The gas fields were opened up in the early part of the world war and this has prevented any great benefit being derived by Monroe in inducing factories to locate here. At the close of the war when the opportunity should have come to Monroe, because of its wonderful supply of natural gas, the economic panic began and this prevented any great industrial changes.
The present year should witness a revival of business, say those in a position to know, and thus give the only real opportunity that has thus come to Monroe to secure her share of industries.
Lloydminster, Alberta Times, February 11, 1922
New Gas Wells to Supply the City of Calgary!
The natural gas supply for the city of Calgary has been augmented by a new supply drawn from wells located near Okotoks, Alberta. These new wells are estimate to provide 12,000,000 cubic feet daily and with this addition to theater supplies will provide a volume more than sufficient to meet all there requirements of the city, although its used is confined to domestic purposes only.
Greenville, Pennsylvania Record-Argus, February 11, 1922
Natural Gas Is Such A Bargain Compared to the Fake Stuff!
Natural Gas is worth twice as much as artificial gas. Artificial gas contains a heating value of about 550 British thermal units per cubic foot of gas, while Natural Gas aver. ages 1100. The cost of artificial gas to the consumer averages about $1.25 per thousand cubic feet. In other words, Natural Gas, with twice the heating value of artificial gas, has been costing the consumer about one-third as much. It would, therefore, seem wise and prudent to urge the conservation of Natural Gas with its generous heating powers so tlat it may be available for a long term of years; and conversely, it seems poor policy to hasten the day of artificial gas, necessarily poorer in quality and more costly.
The average consumer of artificial or manufactured gas uses about 30,000 cubic feet of gas per year, and uses it for cooking, lighting, hot, water and incidental heating, due to the fact that its average cost is $1.25 or more per thousand, uses it carefully nnd economically. The average consumer of Natural Gus uses about 120,000 cubic feet of gas having twice the heating value. In other words, the consumer of manufactured gas uses about 16 million heat units per year compared with 132 million heat units consumed by the average natural gas consumer in the same period.
When the people of Greenville are compelled to turn to artificial gas for cooking, water heating and lighting purposes, they will pay more than twice as much as they now pay for the natural product. It takes 2,000 cubic feel of artificial gas to do the work of 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas. New York, has just increased the price of artificial gas to $1.50 a thousand cubic feet. In other words, New York is paying $3.00 for 2,000 feet of artificial gas that has the same heating value as 1,000 feet of Natural Gas that you arc being supplied with for about one-third the New York price.
Evansville, Indiana Press, February 11, 1922
Natural Gas 355 Years Ago! Who Knew?
The first mention of natural gas was a made in 1667 in a letter to the Royal Society of England.
Spokane, Washington Press Chronicle, February 11, 1922
We Want Cheap Natural Gas, Too, And We Have A Plan!
“Gas in Medicine Hat, where the gas field is located, sells for 20 cents a thousand feet for domestic gas and after being piped to Calgary, 180 miles distant, it sells for 35 cents a thousand, compared to the rate in Spokane of $1.3o a thousand,” said F.S. Ratcliff, former sheriff of Whitman County, who was at the Coeur delete hotel Friday. “Spokane is no farther from the gas fields of Benton County than Calgary is from the gas at Medicine Hat.”
“Medicine Hat is said to have the greatest gas field in the world and it recently brought its first oil well at a depth of 1420 feet. We hope it will prove as important an oil field as it has a gas field. The government analysis of the oil is: gasoline, 17 per cent; kerosene, 7 per cent; light lubricating, 15 per cent, medium lubricating, 25 per cent; heavy lubricating, 15 per cent; residue, 21 per cent.”
Mr. Ratcliff said the gas comes from a depth of about 1050 feet. In Benton County, Wash., it is found at about 750 feet by all the wells which have been sunk.
Mr. Ratcliff has not resided in Whitman County for the last 14 years, but he represents several men of that county who have farm holdings in Alberta.
This post appeared first on Natural Gas Now.