Seen elsewhere
Twitter
Support

 

Buy

Click images for more details

Recent posts
Recent comments
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Preparing the ground | Main | Balcombe open thread »
Saturday
Aug172013

Delingpole on shale

James Delingpole has a perceptive piece on shale gas and the parallels with Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged:

One of the things she foresaw was the current nonsensical, dishonest, canting campaign against shale gas. In Atlas Shrugged it takes the form of Rearden Metal, the miracle technology which is going to transform the US economy if only the progressives will let it. But of course, Rand’s fictional progressives don’t want Reardon Metal to succeed any more than their modern, real-life equivalents want shale gas to succeed. Why not? For the same rag-bag of made-up, disingenuous reasons which progressives have used to justify their war on progress since time immemorial: it’s unfair, it uses up scarce resources, it might be dangerous. Rand doesn’t actually use the phrase “the precautionary principle.” But this is exactly what she is describing in the book when various vested interests – the corporatists in bed with big government, the politicised junk-scientists at the Institute of Science (aka, in our world, the National Academy of Sciences or the Royal Society), the unions – try to close down the nascent technology using the flimsiest of excuses.

Although it has been pointed out that the Royal Society have been broadly supportive of shale developments, the parallels that James points out are rather striking.

Read the whole thing.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

References (2)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    NFL is definitely one particular of the largest sports in America. It has a important following.
  • Response
    Response: OuQnUTRe
    - Bishop Hill blog - Delingpole on shale

Reader Comments (99)

Good piece by Delingpole.
Allowing for his normal hyper style he nails the eco-vandals neatly.

Aug 17, 2013 at 2:41 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

If only the government were as perceptive and interested as Delingpole we might not be in this mess.

Aug 17, 2013 at 3:08 PM | Registered CommenterDung

How to eviscerate your credibility in 30 seconds.

Aug 17, 2013 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff

Its too bad the eco-vandals prefer thousands of diesel generators instead of nice clean natural gas.

Aug 17, 2013 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

The big secret in DECC is that since 2007 they knew the windmills cannot work as a Virtual Power Station so set out secretly to put in a parallel real Virtual Power Station operating at less than half the thermodynamic efficiency of CCGTs.

What this means is that the windmills will use far more fossil fuel and emit far more CO2 than no windmills at all thus proving these bird munching infra-sound weapons are a political symbol, a combination of the windmill in 'Animal Farm', the Easter Island Statues and the Swastika.

We must congratulate Michael Fallon for revealing this plan for what it is, total failure of DECC to carry out its designated task and the impoverishment of the poor by that calamitous, deeply unprofessional failure of governance. We must identify those responsible for this fraudulent deception and put them on trial for Malfeasance in Public Office.

Aug 17, 2013 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Another Delingpole gem. These Luddites are deliberately threatening the future of this country.
They should, therefore, be treated as were the striking miners back in the days of union barons. They should be pushed out, and made to stay out of the area. If Sussex police cannot deal with them, then they should apply to the Home Office and request mutual aid. Give anti frackers an inch and they will take a mile.

Aug 17, 2013 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

Another strong Anti-anti-fracker story today in the Telegraph
Fracking: Industry made Sussex, and I hope it will again Charles Moore 16 Aug 2013 8:18PM


- The root of the Greens’ objection to fracking is not that they believe it cannot work, but that they fear that it can. If we can produce a cheap, low-carbon, plentiful fossil fuel, that’s the end of renewables. Wind power is, among other things, a way of increasing Western energy dependence on others, because it is incapable of meeting our needs. If I were President Putin, wanting to keep my fossil-fuel power over the West, and therefore to squash indigenous shale production, I would be funding our green lobbies as hard as I could.

- At Balcombe, the protests are being driven by outsiders, Occupy movement types, not by locals. This mirrors what happens all over the country. Non-green people who want more jobs, cheaper fuel prices and so on, are numerous, but not noisy. Who will speak for them? What public agency will go through all the facts on the subject, showing, for instance, that there is no recorded example of mobile groundwater ever having been polluted by fracking anywhere? Above all, who will put the essential political, economic and, therefore, moral case?

- It's Russia that doesn't want any new Industrial Revolutions in the UK.

Aug 17, 2013 at 4:49 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

eSmiff
You, Delingpole or The Bishop?

Aug 17, 2013 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

I have two questions.

1) Is Delingpole advocating that scientists and engineers withdraw from society and allow it to collapse, as happens in "Atlas Shrugged" ?

2) Does the Daily Telegraph intend the Delingpole column to be regarded as serious opinion or as amusing satire? It certainly makes me smile. :-)

Aug 17, 2013 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic Man

It is a wonderful argument against the econuts but it winds up missing something very important. Reardon could make money selling his product because his price was higher than cost of production. That has not been true of shale gas production in the aggregate because shale gas is only economic in small core areas of the better formations.

Aug 17, 2013 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterVangel

The parallel that Dillingpole makes between Rand's "Rearden Metal" and today's "shale oil, shale gas" fracking is striking. A closer parallel is Wyatt Oil's, new approach to oil production, but the opposition to Rearden Metal and fracking is on the money.

The sad part of the parallel is that Colorado is no longer Rand's free market haven since its "Californication" in the past decade. I guess today's real Ayn Rand free market haven will have to be Texas or North Dakota.

Aug 17, 2013 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Rasey

The parallel that Dillingpole makes between Rand's "Rearden Metal" and today's "shale oil, shale gas" fracking is striking. A closer parallel is Wyatt Oil's, new approach to oil production, but the opposition to Rearden Metal and fracking is on the money.

Actually, Wyatt Oil is an argument for the other side of this debate but not for environmental reasons. During Rand's time it was a given that shale would be the next big thing because of all of the hydrocarbons contained in shale formations. That did not work out very well because shale did not turn out to be economic. Those that pay attention to the SEC filings and the production data it is clear that shale oil is still a huge loser. If you do not believe me look at the ND well production data.

Aug 17, 2013 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterVangel

Violence in Egypt is keeping Balcombe out the headlines.So how many protestors did turn up in the end.Today The Sun has reported that The Church of England has decided to support Shale get back at the Dawkingess Ecoists

Aug 17, 2013 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

ENTROPIC MAN
You must learn to distinguish between a blog and DT editorial policy.
That noted scientist and self-confessed 'oldest environmentalist in the World' Geoffrey Lean, is the Telegraph's 'environmental correspondent'.
His views are highly respected by all who read him and he enunciates the paper's 'climate policy' and those of his great friend the wife of our Prime Minister.

Aug 17, 2013 at 6:27 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

If fraccing is uneconomic, why is it that ~20% of the 1000 or so oil and gas wells on the UK mainland in the past 50 years have been tracced?

[Source - interview today with a rep from Bristol Uni Earth Sciences.]

Aug 17, 2013 at 6:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

I think that the Atlas Shrugged type strike is already evident to some extent in all predominately socialist countries. By predominately socialist countries I mean those well down the road to completely authoritarian society.


John

Aug 17, 2013 at 6:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Whitman

toad

That doesnt help. Does the Daily Telegraph expect me to laugh at Delingpole or take him seriously?

Aug 17, 2013 at 6:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic Man

Vangel

You are a one trick pony and everyone on this blog has seen the trick far too many times.

Entropic Man

I doubt anyone on this forum cares what you think about good old Dellers.

Aug 17, 2013 at 7:48 PM | Registered CommenterDung

EM,

Why is the science of AGW to be believed, and the science and engineering , and empirical evidence of fracking not ?

I'll answer the question for myself, it doesn't fit your agenda.

To all others , apologies, I promise I will not feed anymore, but I am becoming increasingly angry with a handful of misguided and misinformed fools holding the country to ransom.

Aug 17, 2013 at 7:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil

@Vangel 5:57 pm

Reardon could make money selling his product because his price was higher than cost of production. That has not been true of shale gas production in the aggregate because shale gas is only economic in small core areas of the better formations.

That view is out of date and quite narrow in scope. Look up the stock prices of the major players in the three four largest plays: Sprayberry-Wolfcamp (west Texas), Bakken (North Dakota), Marcellus (Tennessee-New York), and Barnett (South-Central Texas). There is big money being made and lots of jobs to be had.

Right now, because of the relative prices of oil and gas, there is more emphasis on oil plays. But the industry has learned that the secret to profitability is assembly line opperations.

Bakken: "Two miles down, two miles out. 20 days per well. $6-10 million/well. Set up a 20 acre drilling pad in the N/2 NW/4 NW/4 of Sec 6, and drill 8 to 16 wells in a fan East to South and drain Sections 5, 6, 7, 8. Build your facilities and pipelines ahead of the well, the risk is so low. Move over two miles and repeat."

Sprayberry: "Two miles down, 5,000-10,000 ft lateral, Laterals 500 feet apart horizontally at depth. Each well makes 0.5 to 1.5 milllion bbls. 10 million bbls per section per zone. 10,000 to 20,000 economic sections in the play, 10-20 zones thick. 50 billion bbls of oil certain, 100 billion bbls likely before long. (Dallas Busines Journal 5/29/2013 and Video)

It is true that the shale gas wells are more economically challenged, but that is largely because the shale gas wells have so changed supply that it has driven gas prices from an average of over $8.50/mcf to below $4/mcf for 2012-2013. Activity will depend on the price, the price will depend upon activity --- Economics 101.

Don't forget the Learning Curve when done right. Range Resources got 20, 250, 600 mcf per day initial production in their first three wells. After they went for big fracks they are up to 3700, 4300, 4700 mcf per day in current wells. They figured it out in late 2007. Since then, the Marcellus has become the largest producing gas field in the US at 10 BCF/day. Economically recoverable resources are estimated to be between 84 TCF and 3.5 Billion BBls to 489 TCF (Engelder PSU 2009).

Range Resources (Motley Fool), leaders of the Marcellus Shale gas play, which runs from Tennessee to New York and has change the flow of natural gas in the north east US from eastward to westward.

Pioneer Natural Resources is the major player in the largest oil field in the continental US (Sprayberry-Wolfcamp in the Permian Basin) plus major players in the Barnett.

More information from my post at WUWT Aug 12 concerning the URTeC Unconventional Resourece Technology Convention in Denver this past week.

Registration database shows 1199 from TX, 1660 from Colo, 179 from Okla., 162 from Canada, 2 from UK, 12 from France, 3 from Poland, 9 from Russia, 19 from China. I would have put the crowd at the Keynote at 2000-3000.

Aug 17, 2013 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Rasey

My hyperlinks in the above post didn't take.

http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/blog/2013/05/pioneer-using-stacked-laterals-in.html?page=all
Dallas Busines Journal 5/29/2013 and Video

http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/natural-gas.aspx?timeframe=10y
gas prices from an average of over $8.50/mcf to below $4/mcf for 2012-2013.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/04/11/how-range-resources-stock-will-reward-investors.aspx
Range Resources (Motley Fool)

http://stockcharts.com/freecharts/gallery.html?PXD
Pioneer Natural Resources (stockcharts gallery view)

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/12/wuwt-hot-sheet-for-monday-august-12th-2013/#comment-1388113>
my post at WUWT Aug 12 concerning the
http://www.urtec.org/>URTeC
Unconventional Resourece Technology Convention in Denver this past week.

http://register03.exgenex.com/AttendeeLookup/Default.aspx?C=70000063&S=10000022
URTcC Registration Database

Aug 17, 2013 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Rasey

The behavior of the IPCC amounts to one powerful argument that the ethics of science cannot survive in an organization such as the IPCC. I guess I am very naive but, until now, I thought this conclusion could be avoided.

Aug 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Rand's elite (those who opposed Rearden) tie in closely with America's current liberal kleptocratic elite, so Delingpole is on the mark there -- they oppose new technology just to preserve their own lucrative sinecures. But what I find more striking is Rand's description of technological backwardization, where the available technology and expertise get less and less with time, so diesel trains revert to coal-burning trains and then back to wood-burning trains, the electrical grid degrades to where large rural tracts no longer have electricity, kitchen appliances no longer available in the shops, etc. So back in the 1970's we had nuclear power, men on the moon, and a scientific establishment which practiced science. Today these are all lost, we're back to coal-burning power plants -- being replaced by freakin' "biomass"-burning power plants -- shades of Ayn Rand's trains! That is what I find spooky.

Aug 17, 2013 at 9:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterNZ Willy

NZ Willy

Have you read Isaac Asimov's foundation trilogy.
If not, I highly recomend that you do.

Aug 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

A more mature analysis of the same situation from Professor James Heartfield,

Putting the hippies on the payroll


Green Capitalism: Manufacturing Scarcity in an Age of Abundance, by James Heartfield


"In other words, green capitalism is not a passing fad adopted by a few corporate bosses, too spineless to stand up to the hippies; it expresses an essential feature of the social system. As Heartfield reminds us, the origins of modern environmentalism lie in the 1970s when the elite industrialists of the Club of Rome commissioned The Limits to Growth report. As the long post-war boom ended, arguing that the world was running out of resources was another way of saying that there was nothing left to redistribute, and that trade unions must settle for lower wages (p27). (Needless to say, the Club of Rome’s predictions about the exhaustion of natural resources were all confounded [p13]).


http://www.culturewars.org.uk/2008-03/heartfield.htm


Amory Lovins' negawatt revolution in California was Enron's wet dream. Having shut down its own generation capacity, PG&E was at the mercy of Enron's market manipulation. Buying surplus electricity on the open market PG&E was royally fleeced, losing US$12 billion. Utility bills rose by nine times between May 2000 and May 2001. Enron took advantage of the restricted market and cut electricity to California. They even invented reasons to take power plants offline while California was blacked out. Enron officials joked that they were stealing one million dollars a day from California.[6] The PG&E that Lovins held up as a model went bankrupt and had to be bailed out by the State of California.

James Heartfield

http://curezone.com/forums/fmp.asp?i=1691985

Aug 17, 2013 at 10:01 PM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff

EM, the Telegraph hopes that you will read Delingpole (as apparently you do). Provided you read him, they don't much care whether you take him seriously or not.

Aug 17, 2013 at 10:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterosseo

osseo

I buy the Telegraph mainly for the crossword. Delingpole and anything else comes free.

neil

What an odd comment. I accept both the science of climate change and the science of shale gas extraction.

What I find hard to accept is the economics of UK shale gas, for which I have seen only hype. I'm with Vangel on this. The US business model would probably be unprofitable here.

I have not seen financial analysis for any UK shale gas extraction. Show me a proper business case and I would be more accepting of the profitability of shale gas here.

Aug 17, 2013 at 10:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic Man

If fraccing is uneconomic, why is it that ~20% of the 1000 or so oil and gas wells on the UK mainland in the past 50 years have been tracced?

The average shale well has not been economic. Fracking shale formations is a very recent phenomenon but we have used various forms of fracking since the beginning of the oil age.

Aug 17, 2013 at 10:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterVangel

Aug 17, 2013 at 10:30 PM | Entropic Man

surely you would like to see the ignorant oil companies losing huge amounts of money and potentially going bust by drilling for gas/oil then?

Aug 17, 2013 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

That view is out of date and quite narrow in scope. Look up the stock prices of the major players in the three four largest plays: Sprayberry-Wolfcamp (west Texas), Bakken (North Dakota), Marcellus (Tennessee-New York), and Barnett (South-Central Texas). There is big money being made and lots of jobs to be had.

The stock prices of internet companies and hardware markets exploded in the late 1990s as they created jobs and made many people rich. But capital was destroyed as balance sheets had to be written down. Eventually, most of the players went bankrupt or were taken out at pennies on the dollar. There is nothing 'narrow' at looking at the production data and the SEC filings. If you look at the Bakken data released by the state you will find a 100% increase in production in the past two years. That might look good to those that don't bother to look at the details but not to those that have noticed that during the same time the number of wells increased by 139% and that the average production per well failed to go up. Given the hyperbolic decline curves shown by the well production data that should be setting off alarm bells among investors. But they are so caught up in the promise of a new era and untold riches that they refuse to look at reality and to think very clearly. What gets to me is that everything is perfectly visible in the filings and that CEOs are very clear about the funding gap issues on the conference calls. But nobody is listening or paying much attention.

Right now, because of the relative prices of oil and gas, there is more emphasis on oil plays. But the industry has learned that the secret to profitability is assembly line opperations.

Bakken: "Two miles down, two miles out. 20 days per well. $6-10 million/well. Set up a 20 acre drilling pad in the N/2 NW/4 NW/4 of Sec 6, and drill 8 to 16 wells in a fan East to South and drain Sections 5, 6, 7, 8. Build your facilities and pipelines ahead of the well, the risk is so low. Move over two miles and repeat."

I am sorry but this sounds like total nonsense. I am seeing the majors write down their shale assets and admit that they are not profitable. While the primary shale producers have yet to admit that there is a serious problem their filings show massive increases in debt, and negative cash flows even as the production data suggests that the EURs are overstated and the depreciation costs understated. There is no 'assembly line' to save the day. $10 million wells that are down to less than 100 bpd the first year is a big problem no matter how you would like to treat the accounting.

It is true that the shale gas wells are more economically challenged, but that is largely because the shale gas wells have so changed supply that it has driven gas prices from an average of over $8.50/mcf to below $4/mcf for 2012-2013. Activity will depend on the price, the price will depend upon activity --- Economics 101.

But that is wrong. All those 'held for production' wells had nothing to do with economics. Even good old Aubrey McClendon admitted that he would love to drill a small fraction of the wells that his company was forced to drill by the lease commitments. And Tillerson admitted that Exxon was losing its shirt on gas. Why would the company do that if it could reduce drilling activity as the market conditions suggested?

Don't forget the Learning Curve when done right. Range Resources got 20, 250, 600 mcf per day initial production in their first three wells. After they went for big fracks they are up to 3700, 4300, 4700 mcf per day in current wells. They figured it out in late 2007. Since then, the Marcellus has become the largest producing gas field in the US at 10 BCF/day. Economically recoverable resources are estimated to be between 84 TCF and 3.5 Billion BBls to 489 TCF (Engelder PSU 2009).

Nobody is claiming that you can't get a very good return in the core areas. The trouble is that the average shale well is not productive, not that a company can't find a few good locations that will turn out to be profitable. If you bother to remove the non-core areas from the projections shale oil and gas will be profitable but won't move the needle. That is why the 'learning curve' argument fails. And given the fact that the shale sector has been writing off assets you might consider citing more current material rather than old promotion papers.

Range Resources (Motley Fool) , leaders of the Marcellus Shale gas play, which runs from Tennessee to New York and has change the flow of natural gas in the north east US from eastward to westward.

Range has seen a relatively flat cash flow from operations over the past three years while borrowing and capital investment has about doubled. It's overstated P/E ratio is around 190 and debt keeps growing. Personally, I would rather look at a portfolio of coal companies right now than shale gas and oil companies if I were to be forced to hold them for the next ten years. While the shale energy shares are at astronomically high valuations coal has been killed. But with the shale bust coming up in the next year or two the conventional sector should do much better because it actually has a hope of meeting our energy needs without capital destruction.

Aug 17, 2013 at 11:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterVangel

Have you read Isaac Asimov's foundation trilogy.
If not, I highly recomend that you do.

Great. Read a book where some central planner types can move society towards a particular end by manipulating the masses and intervening in history.

Aug 17, 2013 at 11:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterVangel

Vangel

I am sure that there is some place on the web where your views would be welcome but this ain't it.

Aug 18, 2013 at 12:02 AM | Registered CommenterDung

I've made the pint before that the hippies, tree huggers, etc, are now on the same side as the establishment. I wonder if they are happy with that situation?

Aug 18, 2013 at 3:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh.

“There was a time when men were afraid that somebody would reveal some secret of theirs that was unknown to their fellows. Nowadays, they’re afraid that somebody will name what everybody knows. Have you practical people ever thought that that’s all it would take to blast your whole, big, complex structure…?” – Ayn Rand (“Atlas Shrugged”)

Aug 18, 2013 at 5:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

> show me a proper business case and I would be more accepting of the profitability of shale gas here.

Why do any of us need to see a business case? That's for energy companies to worry about. If they can being us cheap, unsubsidised energy, they'll prosper; if they can't they won't.

We just need to focus on getting rid of all energy subsidies.

Aug 18, 2013 at 8:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterKatisha

> read spin-sceptic blogs such as WUWT and Bishop Hill, then tell each other how right they are. Actual experiment might contradict your dearly held delusions. :-)


A credulous simpleton who believes the politicised junk-science of the IPCC et al, Ectopic Man has amongst other things not noticed that this very alarmist junk-science he espouses, favours models over the experimental data that increasingly contradicts them - along with his own dearly held illusions .

Aug 18, 2013 at 8:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterKatisha

Charles Moore is correct. Anti-frackers are terrified of the high likelihood of shales success.

Is there anything quite so certain to render subsidy-junkie 'renewables' obsolete overnight as independent, self-sufficient shale gas? Nothing else comes close. The list of potential benefits reads like a fantasy wish-list. Cheap, secure, abundant, clean, reliable, UK-based and sufficient supply for (probably) literally decades. Quicker to bring to market, too, so no 10-15 year delays before coming online a la nuclear.

They know all this full well yet still oppose. Is it wrong to call them out as enemies of the state?

Aug 18, 2013 at 8:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterCheshirered

As I understand it there are around 1million fracking wells world wide, with around 500,000 in the USA, surely if there were significant problems we'd have ample evidence by now.

Aug 18, 2013 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

The problem is Ayn Rand. The woman was a an egomaniacal idiot, a terrible novelist and an even worse philosopher. L. Ron Hubbard is a serious writer and philosopher by comparison. I had thought better of Delingpole than that. Oh dear, make note not to bother with him any more.

Fracking on the other hand, yes, the objectors seem idiots too. If I had to choose between the demonstrators and Ayn Rand? Well, it would be a close run thing. I think they would be tied for last place.

Aug 18, 2013 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered Commentermichel

RE: AlecM "If fraccing is uneconomic, why is it that ~20% of the 1000 or so oil and gas wells on the UK mainland in the past 50 years have been tracced?"

AlecM you are confusing hydraulic stimulation in general with fracking for shale gas, as are the BBC (probably deliberately because it makes the Balcombe story have a "valid" side for the protesters, otherwise BBC would have to report the well is an oil exploration well and the protesters are protesting about something which isn't happening at Balcombe).

Just to get the numbers right, about 2,000 wells have been drilled onshore in the UK since 1909. About 1,065 of those wells were drilled since 1980, so the last 33 years or so. I have seen no confirmation officially, but I have also seen the figure that around 20% or so of those wells have been hydraulically stimulated. It is a routine process in the oil industry. But, with the exception of the recent shale gas well up North (Cuadrilla), the hydraulically stimulated ("fracked") wells were usually fracked to improve production (and therefore economics) of either oil or gas from a conventional porous reservoir, not from a shale. However there are exceptions to this, because there is gas production in the UK in the form of coal bed methane which has been going for quite a while, and these wells will have been fracked as well. Strange how no-one complained about them, nor noticed the earthquakes or water contamination? Maybe the earthquakes were less than the tremors from mining induced subsidence that preceded the drilling activity in those areas?

RE: Vangel "The average shale well has not been economic. Fracking shale formations is a very recent phenomenon but we have used various forms of fracking since the beginning of the oil age."

I disagree about the economics of shale gas. Time will show us which of us is correct. I would agreee that fracking shale formations (certainly on large scale) is a relatively recent development, but fracking has only been used since about 1947, not the beginning of the "oil age".

Aug 18, 2013 at 9:42 AM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

Geronimo: "surely if there were significant problems we'd have ample evidence by now."

Absolutely. I understand Senator Inhofe asked the question about proven cases of contamination of groundwater to the EPA and the answer is: zero.

The risk of groundwater contamination is not from fracking, but from proper completion of the cement and casing of the well. This applies to any well.

Also, the general public seems totally oblivious to the amount of natural oil and gas seepage around the world. Take the UK, just on the south coast from Kimmeridge Bay to Sidnouth are multiple oil and gas seeps. Check out Burning Cliff in Dorset (yes, it was once burning) or go to Lulworth Cove and see the horrible brown, oily "pollution" on the beach/sand to the right of the boat slipway. All natural.

Oil and gas naturally seeping like this is environmentally friendly because they are bothbiodegradable</>. That's why fracking fluids sometimes contain bactericides.

Aug 18, 2013 at 9:43 AM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

Vangel, (RE Foundation by Isaak Asimov) "Great. Read a book where some central planner types can move society towards a particular end by manipulating the masses and intervening in history."

Vangel, its called a story and its read for the purpose of entertainment.

Aug 18, 2013 at 9:53 AM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

Aug 18, 2013 at 8:03 AM | Katisha

+1

(And lower taxes too!)

Aug 18, 2013 at 9:55 AM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

Forbes: April 3, 2013

Shale Oil and Natural Gas - Whose Bubble is Really About to Burst?
"If there is a “bubble” that’s about to burst here, it is the nationwide campaign to demonize shale oil and natural gas, as well as hydraulic fracturing"

Aug 18, 2013 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Rasey

thinkingscientist

Oil and gas naturally seeping like this is environmentally friendly because they are both biodegradable. That's why fracking fluids sometimes contain bactericides.

I've seen satellite images of the Gulf of Mexico showing enormous areas of seepage from the unstable and overpressurised reservoirs there. Not to mention the early oil industry in places like Kentucky and the Middle East. It's not hard to find oil when its leaking out of the ground and flowing down the rivers, or the gas is a burning natural flare.

Aug 18, 2013 at 10:09 AM | Registered CommenterHector Pascal

Vangel:

At the moment about 40% of all natural gas and 30% of all crude oil in the US is being produced from shale reservoirs. Close to half of all drilling rigs in the CONUS are drilling shale.
Isn't your argument that is all being done at a loss getting a bit thin by now?

Aug 18, 2013 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered Commentertty

The AGW fanatics will dismiss their fulfillment of Rand's prophetic work, of course.
And in typical fanatic fashion, pretend that anyone who invokes Rand is not serious.

Aug 18, 2013 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterlurker, passing through laughing


Aug 18, 2013 at 9:25 AM | michel said,


The problem is Ayn Rand. The woman was a an egomaniacal idiot, a terrible novelist and an even worse philosopher. [. . .]



- - - - - - -


michel,


So, Ayn Rand as an individual intellect creates many fiction and non-fiction works centered around philosophy and man's nature. It has become legend in publication success; even continuing now after decades that remarkable success; a success that was from showing so effectively the importance of philosophy to man's life as man. The still existing freedom in the intellectual marketplace enhanced her success.


Problem? Her internationally read / discussed intellectual approach and philosophic ideas do present a fundamental problem for a certain very very large group of academic intellectuals. That 'problem' appears to be a hopeful sign. : )


John

Aug 18, 2013 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Whitman

At the moment about 40% of all natural gas and 30% of all crude oil in the US is being produced from shale reservoirs. Close to half of all drilling rigs in the CONUS are drilling shale.
Isn't your argument that is all being done at a loss getting a bit thin by now?

Not at all. The producers have admitted to losing their shirts in shale gas and write-downs of shale assets has begun. The argument would wear thin if the industry were able to finance its activities out of ongoing production and it is a long way from there even as the best drill locations in the core areas have already been developed and it has to move to less productive ground. Why aren't you looking at the SEC filings?

Aug 18, 2013 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterVangel

There are geological differences between the US shale gas plays and the potential UK plays.

The best of the US wells are in the Barnett and Marcellus shales. The rock is relatively shallow and in uniform layers. It is easy to place multiple wells into productive rock.

The Bowland Shale and other UK deposits are deeper and much less uniform, with productive volumes scattered among unproductive volumes.. Whoever develops the plays will have to drill longer wells and hit fracking "sweet spots". Both come down to the bottom line of "more expensive".

UK producers should avoid the depressed prices brought by the US glut, but may not be able to produce UK shale gas cheaply enough to make it economic even at present UK prices.

Aug 18, 2013 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic Man

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>