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Methane leaks suggest fracking benefits exaggerated

Michael Slezak, New Scientist
Have the benefits of "fracking" as a way to extract natural gas been exaggerated? Australia’s biggest such operation is showing larger than expected leaks of methane, reveals research submitted to a government inquiry…

Most research on these leaks has focused on well heads, but Damien Maher at Southern Cross University in Queensland and colleagues looked at gas seeping through the ground…
(21 November 2012)

Gas Industry Attacks Scientists After Research Finds Triple The Normal Levels Of Methane At Australian Gas Fields

Graham Redfearn, DeSmog Blog

Gas Industry Attacks Scientists After Research Finds Triple The Normal Levels Of Methane At Australian Gas Fields (via Desmogblog)

LEVELS of the potent greenhouse gas methane have been recorded at more than three times their normal background levels at coal seam gas fields in Australia, raising questions about the true climate change impact of the booming industry. The findings, which have been submitted both for peer review and…

(16 November 2012)

Shale gas needs regulation, not a ban -European Parliament

EU politicians rejected a ban on shale gas, while calling for a robust regulatory regime to address environmental and other concerns, in a series of votes on Wednesday in the European Parliament.

A shale gas revolution has swept the United States, lowering gas prices and helping to displace more polluting coal.

Europe is looking on with interest, if not envy, as the United States moves towards energy independence and gets an economic boost from cheap fuel.

Shale Gas Europe, a new body backed by oil and gas firms, including Chevron, Statoil and Royal Dutch Shell, said the parliament had called for shale gas exploration and ensuring it was done sustainably…
(21 November 2012)

A Contrarian on Shale Gas

Public Power
If you’re looking for someone to spout the party line on the availability and cost of shale gas, you need to ask someone other than Art Berman. Berman is a petroleum geologist and consultant to the energy sector and president and CEO of Labyrinth Consulting Services, in Sugar Land, Texas.

In other words, by focusing on shale gas resources, people assume that reserves are much higher than they actually are. Reserves have been substantially overstated, he said.

Berman’s math: If you divide the “technically recoverable resource” of about 1,900 Tcf (trillion cubic feet) of gas, as identified by the Potential Gas Committee’s (PGC’s) report by annual U.S. consumption, you come up with 90 years. However, the PGC’s report also says the “probable recoverable resource” is only about 550 Tcf—approximately one fourth of the “technically recoverable resource.”

Furthermore, if you divide the 550 Tcf “probable recoverable resource” by three, which represents the component of the resource that is actually provided by shale gas, you get about 180 Tcf. (The remaining 370 Tcf includes conventional reservoirs plus non-shale/non-coalbed-methane unconventional reservoirs.)

The result: There is about eight years’ worth of shale gas supply available in the United States, he said.

Berman recently studied one area that has been actively drilled for several years and found that 25 to 30 percent of the wells drilled that are five to seven years old are already sub-commercial. This conflicts with the popular comment that most wells can last 40 years or longer. Other wells are producing less than one million cubic feet per month. At today’s gas prices, this does not even cover lease and operating expenses, he said…
(Nov/Dec 2012)

US Shale Gas Won’t Last Ten Years: Bill Powers

Peter Byrne, Energy Report
The Energy Report: Bill, you have a new book coming out next spring entitled "Cold, Hungry and in the Dark: Exploding the Natural Gas Supply Myth." What is your basic argument?

Bill Powers: My thesis is that the importance of shale gas has been grossly overstated; the U.S. has nowhere close to a 100-year supply. This myth has been perpetuated by self-interested industry, media and politicians. Their mantra is that exploiting shale gas resources will promote untold economic growth, new jobs and lead us toward energy independence.

In the book, I take a very hard look at the facts. And I conclude that the U.S. has between a five- to seven-year supply of shale gas, and not 100 years. That is far lower than the rosy estimates put out by the U.S. Energy Information Administration and others. In the real world, many companies are taking write-downs of their reserves.

Importantly, I give examples of how certain people and institutions are promoting the shale gas myth even as they benefit from it economically. This book will change a lot of opinions about how large the shale gas resources really are in the U.S. and around the planet.

TER: How did you obtain your information?

BP: I spent three years doggedly researching this book. Most of the information came from publicly available sources. I used a fair amount of work done by Art Berman, who has written the forward for the book. Art is a leading expert on determining the productivity of shale gas plays. I contacted a lot of other geologists and petroleum engineering professionals and had them review my conclusions about declining production…

Bill Powers is the editor of Powers Energy Investor and is also the author of the upcoming book "Cold, Hungry and in the Dark: Exploding the Natural Gas Supply Myth." Powers has devoted the last 15 years to studying and analyzing the energy sector, driven by his desire to uncover unrecognized trends in the industry and identify outstanding opportunities for retail and institutional investors.
(8 November 2012)

Gas is abundant, affordable and acceptable. It’s also the future, argues Shell chief Peter Voser

Kamal Ahmed, The Daily Telegraph
Ahead of the Government’s gas strategy, Shell chief executive Peter Voser reveals why it is the fuel of the future and how he is riding the shale revolution.

“Energy demand will rise constantly and significantly,” Voser said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph. “We need to generate an energy landscape that gives us a lower carbon footprint. That gives us all challenges and opportunities. “In all of this we see very strong gas growth. It is really driven by availability – there is some 250 years of gas resources available. It is acceptable from a CO2 footprint point of view, producing 50pc to 70pc less CO2 than coal for example. It is affordable currently and in the longer term.

“We have been building our gas strategy for 30 years because we saw this coming. Shell will produce more gas than oil this year, or at the latest by next year.” Shell, he makes clear, is not simply an oil company…
(17 November 2012)