Fracking – June 4

June 4, 2013

Click on the headline (link) for the full text.

Fracking could ruin German beer industry, brewers tell Angela Merkel

Staff, The Telegraph
The Brauer-Bund beer association is worried that fracking for shale gas, which involves pumping water and chemicals at high pressure into the ground, could pollute water used for brewing and break a 500-year-old industry rule on water purity.

Under the "Reinheitsgebot", or German purity law, brewers have to produce beer using only malt, hops, yeast and water.

"The water has to be pure and more than half Germany’s brewers have their own wells which are situated outside areas that could be protected under the government’s current planned legislation on fracking," said a Brauer-Bund spokesman…
(23 May 2013)

Amerikas Schiefergas-Boom droht jähes Ende
[Translation: America’s shale gas boom threatens abrupt end]
Markus Gärtner, Manager Magzine Online
…Die Gasbohrfirmen selbst sind in den USA bereits in heftige Schwierigkeiten geraten. Der extrem gestiegene Konsolidierungs-Druck in der Branche – sowie Asset-Verkäufe in Milliardenumfang – sind ein Beleg für die Prognose von Berman, demzufolge die Ausbeutung je Gasquelle nur etwa halb so hoch sein wird, wie von vielen Betreibern angegeben. Diese stehen unter erheblichem Druck, mit dem Nachweis attraktiver Vorkommen an der Wall Street oder bei deren Banken Geld für Investitionen einzusammeln.

Und sie stürzen sich in der Regel zuerst auf den ergiebigsten Teil eines neuen Vorkommens, das sie ausbeuten wollen und gründen darauf ihre Förderprognosen. Laut Berman sitzen die USA gemessen am aktuellen Verbrauch auf einem Gasvorrat von 11 bis 23 Jahren. Das ist höchstens ein Viertel dessen, was Barack Obama vorschwebt.

Der zweite prominente Zweifler mit Blick auf die rosigen Fracking-Prognosen für die USA ist der kanadische Geowissenschaftler David Hughes. Er ist Forscher am Post Carbon Institute in Santa Rosa, Kalifornien. Das Institut beschäftigt sich mit der Energieversorgung in einer Welt, die sich künftig wieder auf kleinere lokale Märkte konzentriert…
(13 May 2013)
Interesting to see Post Carbon Institute getting an international audience.

Fracking Tests Ties Between California ‘Oil and Ag’ Interests

Norimitsu Onishi, New York Times
…By all accounts, oilmen and farmers — often shortened to “oil and ag” here — have coexisted peacefully for decades in this conservative, business friendly part of California about 110 miles northwest of Los Angeles. But oil’s push into new areas and its increasing reliance on fracking, which uses vast amounts of water and chemicals that critics say could contaminate groundwater, are testing that relationship and complicating the continuing debate over how to regulate fracking in California.

“As farmers, we’re very aware of the first 1,000 feet beneath us and the groundwater that is our lifeblood,” said Tom Frantz, a fourth-generation farmer here and a retired high school math teacher who now cultivates almonds. “We look to the future, and we really do want to keep our land and soil and water in good condition.”…
(1 June 2013)

Most Americans don’t give a frack about fracking

John Upton, Grist
You might think fracking is a highly divisive, heatedly contested issue, but most Americans don’t give a damn about it either way.

The latest Climate Change in the American Mind survey found that 39 percent of respondents had never heard of fracking, while another 13 percent didn’t know whether they had heard of it…
(30 May 2013)

UK shale gas reserves may be ‘bigger than first thought’

John Moylan, BBC
One of the energy firms hoping to exploit the UK’s resources of shale gas says it may be sitting on significantly more gas than previously thought.

UK firm IGas says there may be up to 170 trillion cubic feet (4,810 cubic km) of gas in the areas it is licensed to explore in northern England.

But it remains unclear how much of the gas will be economically extractable…
(3 June 2013)

OPEC, at its Vienna meeting, grapples with shale oil

Newdesk, Platts
At first glance OPEC had one of its most straightforward meetings of recent years in Vienna this week.

With minister after minister expressing satisfaction with current oil market conditions, there was never much prospect of any change to the group’s current crude production ceiling of 30 million b/d…

But while the Brent crude price of just over $100/barrel is pretty much exactly where the big crude exporters like it, concern is clearly growing in some quarters about the rising threat to market equilibrium posed by the burgeoning shale oil production in the US…
(31 May 2013)

Beer image via shutterstock. Reproduced at with permission.

Tags: Fracking, oil industry, OPEC, Shale gas, tight oil, Water Supplies