Activist Attempts to Expose Shale Gas Boom as a House of Cards

From Deborah Rogers, Energy Policy Forum:
To sum up, although touted as the “bridge fuel”, shale gas may not be the best choice after all. Clearly there are inherent difficulties with extraction including air toxics, possible ground water ruination, water depletion, land consumption and subsequent degradation, methane emissions more potent than carbon dioxide and health impacts to surrounding communities. Further, the economics are questionable at best. Platts Oil and Gas Reporter, a preeminent industry publication, stated in December 2010 that “the switch from [shale] gas to [shale] oil suggests shale gas can survive only through cross-subsidization, not on its own merit. Perpetual expansion cannot forever disguise a serious problem with the bottom line.” (23) 
Anti-gas activist Deborah Rogers likens shale gas to shell game
But perpetual expansion is what shale gas does best. It is the very nature of the beast. 
Wells have declined so rapidly in every shale play to date that perpetual expansion has been the only option open for operators to keep production levels up. But serious consideration must be given before turning landscapes worldwide into industrial, desertified regions all for the sake of a “bridge fuel”. Land consumption, when it is known beforehand that 80% of the wells will be uneconomic, becomes of paramount importance. Shale gas wells have proved short lived in the U.S. thus far. Without a comprehensive reclamation plan in place, the land then becomes worthless for other purposes and cannot generate revenues. 
We have all witnessed flood after flood, earthquake after earthquake, freak storms and unseasonable weather patterns throughout the globe. The human costs of such devastation have greeted us on the evening news no matter where we reside. But make no mistake, there will be a tipping point where the human costs are finally and truly measured in dollars and rupees and reals. When this occurs, the excuse and platitudes of job growth of a mere 67,900 over a decade will pale into insignificance and economic stability will be a joke. 
Clearly there are extensive questions surrounding claims by the oil and gas industry regarding shale gas production and its abundance and surety. As we have seen, reserves have been vastly overstated in every major shale play in the U.S., reserve estimates are being slashed worldwide, revenues have not proved long lived or reliable, jobs have not proved long lived or as numerous as industry claims, land has been degraded by drilling and then abandoned, wells haven proven short lived, and industry insiders readily admit that 80% of shale wells can “easily be uneconomic.” 
I will conclude with a comment that I truly wish I could take credit for because it is so brilliant…but I can’t. It belongs to Warren Buffet. He made this comment after the economic meltdown in 2008 but I find it very apropos now with regard to shale gas and particularly concerning the demise of Chesapeake Energy, the second largest natural gas producer in the U.S. And the comment is this: when the tide goes out, that’s when you get to see who has been swimming naked all along.”
Read the rest of the article here.

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