Carbonous concealment: governing 'wild' substances and subterranean storage in an era of climate change

Sean Field*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Drawing on ethnographic field research that I conducted in Houston, Texas since late 2018, I explore subterranean storage arrangements utilised by the US hydrocarbon industry. I argue that storage is vital not only to its pluri-temporal strategies but to the outward projection of good governance. Natural gas, I show, has evolved from excess nuisance, to liability, to potential asset turned commodity in ways that parallel unfolding understandings and treatments of carbon dioxide. Governance and subterranean carbonous storage arrangements, I argue, are tied to the materiality of liquid versus gaseous hydrocarbons and to how understandings of this materiality have changed. Paying attention to what these storage spaces mean and to whom can lend insights into why storage is utilised and to what effect.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalAntipode
VolumeEarly View
Early online date5 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Natural gas
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Governance
  • Carbon capture
  • Storage

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