Shale Boom slowing down?

The Oil Depletion Analysis Centre (ODAC) has an interesting viewpoint on shale gas in this weeks ODAC newsletter

Plans to revolutionise energy markets through shale gas fracking provoked mixed reactions this week. A study by scientists from Duke University (see news report here) found evidence that methane leaks from fracking are polluting drinking water, though they found no evidence of fracking fluids in the water. The study is likely to be used by both supporters and opponents of the technology.

A new report by the Post Carbon Institute (download PDF here) focuses on what it argues are unrealistic projections for shale gas production in the US, calling into question plans to use gas to reduce US dependence on foreign oil. Energy Information Administration (EIA) production scenarios anticipate 45% of US gas to come from shale by 2035, which would require unprecedented rates of drilling especially given the fast depletion rates of shale plays, safety concerns, and higher costs.

Even within the gas industry there are those who are anticipating a slowdown in the shale boom. In the words of Neal Anderson of Wood MacKenzie, “They’re starting to wake up that a lot of companies are just simply churning cash here. And the real winners in this are the service companies…. I’ll remind you of that old adage from the California gold rush: The guys that really made the money were the guys selling the shovels. It looks a little bit like that.”

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3 Responses to Shale Boom slowing down?

  1. Kelley says:

    Is this just a function of the price of natural gas? My understanding is that the industry is deploying their assets to fracking for oil now because oil prices are so high. If prices of NG rise I would think they’ll increase shale gas production then. Raising demand would potentially lead to higher NG prices.

    Which is why Mr. Pickens has practically written a bill now in Congress which aims to increase that demand. The Nat Gas bill would give even more subsidies, for pipelines, filling stations and other NG infrastructure, and have the government convert trucks and large vehicles to run on NG.

    It’s interesting to note that Pickens is one of the largest private owners of water aquifers.

  2. Gina Hams says:

    Hi Loved that last quote. Let’s hope they stick to shovels not fracking.!!!!

    GH

  3. Miriam says:

    Hi there, we are newbies at this having just become aware of fracking exploration in the north west of Ireland. I was delighted to find your site and obviously have a lot of catching up to do. If there are any things that you think we should be doing immediately please let us know 🙂
    The film Gaslands is being shown locally now and there will hopefully be lots of reaction…

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