ISIS-linked militants are threatening huge natural gas reserves the world needs badly right now
A huge volume of the world’s oil and gas is stored within large quantities of water which are naturally occurring or man-made in the form of wetlands, swamps, lakes, reservoirs and aquifers. The vast majority of these reserves are in the northern hemisphere, either on or near the surface of the continents. It is these areas that are the most vulnerable to the activities of the world’s enemies, especially the non-state actors, such as militant groups, who seek to exploit the vulnerability.
The world’s biggest oil reserves are in the Middle East, of which Egypt is the biggest single producer. The country is home to the largest reservoir of natural gas reserves in the Middle East. In Syria the Al-Assad regime owns three-quarters of the area as an outright majority of this area is under their control. The North Sea reserves are the most extensive in the world, and in part of the area they control, namely the North Sea area of the United Kingdom and Continental Europe. The third largest gas reserves are in Alaska, Russia and Canada. The North Sea is the most important natural gas reserve in the world. In the United States, gas reserves have been found on the continental shelf of Virginia, in the Gulf of Mexico, in the Canadian Arctic and in the Rocky Mountains.
Natural gas (or “combined cycle”) is a fuel which contains two elements of gas that are mixed together in the same stream. In order to be processed it must first be compressed to produce a low-pressure methane gas, which is then separated from water and air so it can be used as a fuel. However, in order for the process to be viable it must be done at temperatures which make it safe for the fuel to be transported via pipelines across many countries.
The production of natural gas requires enormous amounts of water, which, in turn, require enormous quantities of freshwater. It is then the water which gives the gas its characteristic “watery” smell. In the past this water has been stored in huge quantity in lakes and wetlands, where it has taken thousands of years to build up. However