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The shale phenomenon: fabulous miracle with a fatal flaw

The combination of horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, 3D seismic surveys, and other gee-wizardry has produced a near-miracle, which has left experts confounded, politicians exuberant, and journalists suffering from hyperbole.

High Noon for solar: a twist on the spaghetti western

So here’s the question: Is solar just a cute diversion, like having a llama carry your backpack, or does it have the oomph to make a serious dent in the energy appetite of a populous country? Is it a toy or a tool? A llama or a mule?

What hath fracking wrought

You may say you want a revolution, but generally you don’t. Predictably, fracking—the high-pressure injection of massive amounts of water, sand, and toxic chemicals a mile underground, a technology first developed to unlock Rockies tight gas—has sparked controversy.

Commentary: Moving Beyond Denial…Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

In the last few months, the vigorous debate over the future of world oil supplies has hit the mainstream radar screen. The optimists closed ranks—they have to because their numbers are shrinking—and launched a barrage of misleading reports and opinion pieces, suggesting that supplies will grow from today’s 85 million barrels a day to as much as 115 mb/day by 2030.

Commentary: Mission Critical: Can Shale Gas Save the World?

In late August the Vancouver Sun ran an article on the bullish prospects for Canadian shale gas. The piece began this way: “What energy crisis? Despite what you may be hearing about a global peak in oil production, waning reserves, and $100-plus oil prices, North America is suddenly awash in fossil fuel.”...

Michael Lynch, Daniel Yergin - The denizens of peak oil denial

Last week Michael Lynch and Daniel Yergin pummeled the concept of peak oil in two mainstream media outlets. Lynch’s feisty but nearly fact-free op-ed for the New York Times and Yergin’s more scholarly reflection in Foreign Policy whipped up further discussion in the blogosphere. Although the majority of on-line responses to Lynch’s piece were negative, peak oil advocates were put on the …

From shortage to glut, and boom to bust

A record number of natural gas wells were drilled in the United States last year. But now, in a stunning reversal, hundreds of rigs have been idled and thousands of roughnecks laid off. In the space of six months, the oilpatch has gone from drill, baby, drill to chill, baby, chill.

After the bird strike

Against the backdrop of widespread economic carnage, the fact that global oil production likely peaked last summer seems almost irrelevant. The prevailing meme has long been that since oil created prosperity, peak oil would devastate it-but derivatives launched a pre-emptive strike.

The offshore? Good luck, bad luck and mukluk

The Outer Continental Shelf is not a panacea for today's higher oil prices. The best prospects in US waters - including most of the Gulf of Mexico and a thousand miles of Alaskan shoreline - are already open for leasing. There's probably some oil in the moratoria areas, but it is a decade or more from market.

Harpooning the earth - drilling with Charlie

If guys like Charlie stopped working for a year, you'd have to turn a few things off, big things like, say, New York and Ohio.
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