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The Drill Baby Drill crowd has got the media, and even President Obama, believing the U.S. has discovered "a hundred years of Natural Gas", and that we can achieve Oil independence!

What absolute nonsense!  Anyone who has even taken a modest look at the Oil/Gas industry knows that this whole Fracking hype is a push by the Oil Oligarchs to get the easy oil and gas and make a ton of money before the public wakes up.

Even the New York Times has fallen prey to the deception.

Inching Toward Energy Independence

Taken together, the increasing production and declining consumption have unexpectedly brought the United States markedly closer to a goal that has tantalized presidents since Richard Nixon: independence from foreign energy sources, a milestone that could reconfigure American foreign policy, the economy and more. In 2011, the country imported just 45 percent of the liquid fuels it use, ddown from a record high of 60 percent in 2005.
We're down to importing 45% of our liquid fuels!  HOORAY! Light off the fireworks, lets have a parade, bring back the gas guzzlers, victory is within our grasp.  We've reduced our imports by 15% from our peak, and most of that is because we've been in a Republican economic catastrophe since 2008.

The Fracking boom started in the mid 2000's and the Bust is already beginning.  Let's take a look at the Fracking Bubble more closely, below the fold.

FT Alphaville has a nice summary of a report from Bernstein Research’s Bob Brackett about how the Fracking industry is progressing nearly a decade into the boom.  The emphasis is on the Shale Oil industry, but this applies equally well to the Natural Gas fracking deception.

Shale Oil Everywhere

First, lets take a look at how that Fracking boom is working out for the shales in Montana (which is the same Bakken formation as in North Dakota).

The decline cannot be explained simply by the number of wells being operated — because those have increased. A per-well average looks like this:

As you can see, these wells simply can't maintain a high production rate for very long.  This isn't some big breaking story, the rapid fall off of well production was not only predicted, it was observed a long time ago.  Fracking has actually been around a long time.  It's the combination of improved techniques and horizontal drilling that allows rapid extraction of the EASY stuff.  The hard stuff is a whole different story.

Remember that over this same time period, the E&P industry invested hundreds of billions of dollars in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, rolling out new innovations and new completions techniques, longer laterals, higher stage counts, etc.  Yet this wave of innovation was insufficient to increase average well productivity.

Below are a couple graphs to show how fast these fracked wells become "stripper" wells.  A "stripper" well just means it's about reached the end of it's life cycle and is almost to the point of not being profitable.

That’s it — a mere six years to “stripper” status.

Two-hundred modern Bakken horizontal wells are now strippers, says Brackett. He has some other interesting little facts: these ‘stripper’ wells initially cost about $10m to drill and have a lateral length of almost two miles. Once they hit “stripper” status of about 15 barrels/day, they produce oil “at the same rate that rain falls in Seattle”. They can keep producing for years at that rate, of course — as long as it’s economic to do so. A quarter of the expected output from a Bakken well will be delivered during its post-peak “stripper” phase.

Well there you have it folks.  All this BS talk about how Fracking will make the U.S. oil independent, or that we have 100 years of Natural Gas thanks to fracking, it's all a deception, a fraud, as fake as the Romney/Ryan budget plan.

And now, let's take a look at Natural Gas prices over the last couple of years.

See that bounce that's occurred since April?  That actually represents about a 50% rise in NG prices.  Why in the world would NG prices be rising in a slow economy and if we're just beginning a Fracking revolution that will give us 100 years of NG?  My guess is, big time investors have woken up and can no longer be fooled by the Fracking lie.  

And now, one last chart, the cost of installing Photovoltaics.

Now you know why the Carbon industry has to build these elaborate deceptions about how we are about to become oil independent and it's the century of Natural Gas.  Without the heavy subsidies to the Carbon industry, and with the truth be known that the price of these fuels is destined to be in continuous boom/bust cycles, they will soon have no chance of competing with solar/wind electricity.

So the next time you hear the "Drill Baby Drill" crowd screaming about oil independence, tell them the Fracking truth!

UPDATE:  Some of the comments are asking why I used Fracked Oil well graphs rather than Fracked NG wells.  A good point.  It was really just a matter of convenience since I've seen similar graphs for NG wells.  Here is a nice article from slate, that discusses similar results from the Barnett formation in the east, and has a nice graph of how fast those fracked NG wells fell off, 50% in 2 years.

Fracking: Is there really 100 years?

Originally posted to pollwatcher on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 04:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots.

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  •  Tip Jar (183+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rb608, dance you monster, Floande, maryabein, deepeco, DRo, nailbender, LI Mike, ChemBob, markthshark, Ashaman, jakewaters, DuzT, Andrew F Cockburn, OhioNatureMom, marleycat, VictorLaszlo, MartyM, hyperstation, rapala, parse this, Detlef, jcrit, cordgrass, political mutt, billlaurelMD, irate, glendaw271, profundo, eeff, jrooth, lineatus, marksb, Nag, oortdust, Mathazar, PhilJD, Ken in MN, absdoggy, MRA NY, coquiero, stormicats, Proud Mom and Grandma, copymark, Olkate, gnostradamus, howarddream, Gustogirl, expatjourno, US Blues, yet another liberal, entrelac, molecularlevel, Nica24, salmo, c u stageguy, ladybug53, kerflooey, gulfgal98, Agathena, nzanne, DBunn, Delta Overdue, Its a New Day, zerelda, rantsposition, PeterHug, Pandoras Box, bumbi, susakinovember, Most Awesome Nana, rebel ga, alasmoses, scarvegas, SpecialKinFlag, hubcap, david78209, BigOkie, sap, 2laneIA, banjolele, PapaChach, letsgetreal, GeorgeXVIII, mkfarkus, Pescadero Bill, Jollie Ollie Orange, BRog, Glacial Erratic, NoMoJoe, semiot, science nerd, emmasnacker, GrannyOPhilly, themank, illegal smile, just another vortex, RLMiller, happy camper, draa, Chachy, enhydra lutris, cacamp, Aquarius40, Railfan, LaughingPlanet, Egalitare, jazzizbest, maybeeso in michigan, tegrat, cslewis, drofx, oldmanriver, Haf2Read, Gowrie Gal, PrahaPartizan, Lujane, ZhenRen, elengul, Syoho, bnasley, Kinak, America Jones, joanil, Akonitum, SadieSue, Mimikatz, The Hindsight Times, this just in, Sun Tzu, pat bunny, IndieGuy, fixxit, caul, ColoTim, means are the ends, tampaedski, blueoasis, Tinfoil Hat, Xavier Onassis EMTP, greycat, vahana, dewtx, No one gets out alive, FrY10cK, MJ via Chicago, Lefty Coaster, UncleCharlie, livingthedream, cotterperson, katrinka, AZ Sphinx Moth, ItsSimpleSimon, millwood, cybersaur, tytalus, saluda, trueblueliberal, The Jester, maxzj05, Robynhood too, Mr Robert, murphthesurf, countwebb, humphrey, 6412093, CA ridebalanced, askyron, Renee, ctsteve, FG, ask, BlueInARedState, cwsmoke, tonyahky, Assaf, Laughing Vergil, FarWestGirl, slathe, splashy, SolarMom, shaharazade, JVolvo
  •  Rich people have more money than they know (22+ / 0-)

    what to do with.

    It used to be dark at night out this way. Now we got the lights from our new mega-mall which has been a huge flop. And the lights from the fracking rig right across the road. Yet I keep hearing that there is a "glut" of natural gas around here.

    Out of all the things this distressed part of the "rust belt" needed, I don't know about these two projects. Hundreds of millions of dollars spent to little result. I guess we will see if the free market saves us.

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 04:51:00 AM PDT

    •  A glut? it's a fools gold rush (29+ / 0-)

      Sure, the horizontal drilling and the changes in fracking let them get to pockets of gas real quick, but as the graphs show, the wells drop off quickly.  Which unfortunately means they will leave a huge mess for the taxpayers to clean up when the boom goes bust.  More socialism for the Oil/gas industry.

      Sorry to hear about the lights.  I am fortunate enough to live in a place where there are literally about 5 yard lights within 500 square miles, and I can see the milky-way from horizon to horizon.  Just a few minutes ago we were looking at a crescent moon rising with Venus just above it, and Jupiter just above Venus.  

      •  Shale formations cover a vast area (29+ / 0-)

        Shale gas production will be a significant source of gas for many years and vast areas of land will be affected. You have written an excellent diary, strongly recommended, but don't forget how much shale there is in north America.

        Fracking pollution has caused major damage to air and water quality. It has created many pits and ponds of toxic waste. If we continue to allow fracking as it is practiced today a vast area of America will be badly polluted.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

        by FishOutofWater on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 05:51:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yep, there's a lot of shale, but I'm not sure (8+ / 0-)

          I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that the economics and the mess is going to catch up with investors.  It's the Goldman Sachs method of screwing your investors, applied to Natural Gas investors.  These investors were told there's a gazillion cubic feet of gas out there and you're going to make huge profits.  Now their finding out the well production drops off rapidly so you've got to drill another expensive well, and you're left with a mess that hopefully Democratic administrations are going to eventually make you pay to clean up.

          •  Part of the risk assessment to investors are the (12+ / 0-)

            protests over the enormous pollution and the danger to our air and water.


            ❧To thine ownself be true

            by Agathena on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 06:04:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Compared to other oil/gas developments... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ....US Shale gas is really quite cheap.  I doubt anyone but the smaller companies are running into significant trouble because of this.

          •  I really found this a bizarre diary. (12+ / 0-)

            Frakking for shale gas has almost as much to do with frakking for oil in the Bakken as fishing for salmon in the Pacific Northwest has to do with fishing for shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico.

            The Bakken is a very unusual formation.  It is vast in extent but extremely shallow, rarely more than a couple meters thick (from a drilling perspective, that's like trying to hit a crumpled sheet of paper buried a couple meters underground, bank a 90 degree turn, then follow through the center of the sheet of paper with your well) and with extremely low porosity.  For the longest time, its net recoverable reserves were classed at "zero".  Any number greater than zero is, of course, an improvement on "zero".  

            There had been hope that the price for producing oil in the Bakken could come down from the 40-60 dollars a barrel it currently costs.  From the sound of this, they're having trouble doing that in the Montana portions of the plays.  But what, exactly, does oil recovery in a single very unusual formation have to do with fracking in general?

            The Bakken has nothing to do with what's normally called "shale oil".  The Bakken is an unusual formation containing normal oil.  What's generally called "shale oil" uses abundant, easy to get to formations but which contain only unconventional oil.  In fact, it's not oil at all.  It's sort of a proto-oil called "kerogen".  To produce oil, it's either mined or dealt with in-situ, treated with heat to mimic the way oil is normally produced in the crust from kerogen, and then collected and refined.

            In short, it's about as different from producing from the Bakken as physically possible.

            •  google bakken shale oil (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Sorry, but I'm not sure where you're coming from.

              Here's something about fracking in the Bakken shale.


              •  Rei is giving a geologic analysis (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PrahaPartizan, katrinka, Mr Robert

                I don't have time to check out the details now but what he says makes sense to me.

                look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

                by FishOutofWater on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 08:40:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  They're both fracked, they're both in shale dep. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MrJersey, caul

                  Yes, Kerogen "shale oil' is very different, but that's not at all what we are talking about.  We're talking about the effectiveness of fracking in extracting oil and NG from shales.  The article quoted in the diary is talking about fracking in the Bakken formation, but over on you can find very similar arguments (rapid fall in well production rates) for NG deposits in many of the shales in the East.

                  I have to totally disagree with this statement:

                  Frakking for shale gas has almost as much to do with frakking for oil in the Bakken as fishing for salmon in the Pacific Northwest has to do with fishing for shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico.
                  and believe it misses the point of the diary completely.
                  •  NG Production Graphs (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    I believe that what Rei is asking for are the graphs showing those decline rates for NG wells in the frakked shale formations.  Further, as a community we should also be looking at the decline rates for NG wells drilled in formations which are historically mostly NG producers.  At least that way we could place in perspective the general effectiveness of the frakking production being touted.  That is the information which we all need to know in order to develop an informed opinion.

                    Otherwise, simply trying to craft an argument that frakking applications are bad only mirrors the oil and gas industry's ads promoting frakking as the total solution to the nation's energy needs.  That shouldn't be the point of the diary completely.

                    "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

                    by PrahaPartizan on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:59:08 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Here are the curves; (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      caul, Xavier Onassis EMTP

                      I didn't want to make this diary a technical diary trying to cover everything.  Anyone who visits has seen similar graphs for NG fracked wells, but these particular graphs presented well.

                      This link will show a similar drop off of production for fracked NG wells in the Barnett formation, with a 53% decline in production after 2 years.

                      This link also shows production throughout many of the eastern shale formations, with very similar results.  It certainly seems the problem isn't with whether it's oil or NG, or the particular formation, the problem lies in the fracking technology itself.

                      Fracking, is there really 100 years.

                      •  That wells decline falls into the category of (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        "no duh".  Who is this supposed to come as a surprise to?  All wells of all types decline over time.  The less porous the reservoir, in general, the faster they decline; hence in such formations, the goal is rapid payoff of your drilling cost.  And I think this graph says it all.

                        Do remember when you talk about, say, an oil well producing 400 barrels a day and then declining to a "mere" 10-15 a day, at today's oil prices, that's $13.7 million dollars per year declining to a "mere" $340k-$515k per year.

                        •  Boone Pickens Plan Perfectly Exemplified (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          Those charts pollwatcher provided from Slate display perfectly the plan which was being advocated by T. Boone Pickens a few years back.  It would appear that those natural gas plays give us about 25 years leeway in which to make serious investments in renewable and alternative energy resources.  With some prudence and technical development, we might be able to extend that to 50 years.  That 100 year number most likely would be the outcome if we can roll the dice right for every variable - technology, formation, costs, experience.  We might do better to use this as an opportunity to call for a comprehensive energy program which calls for a Manhattan Project like effort involving both NG and renewables, because concentrating on just one to the exclusion of the other is a prescription for national economic disaster.

                          "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

                          by PrahaPartizan on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 10:37:01 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Now you're just denying the data, no thanks n/t (0+ / 0-)
                  •  Obviously you disagree with it because you wrote (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    the diary.  But I again must reiterate that the Bakken is a highly unconventional formation not at all representative of formations elsewhere in the world, whether you're talking about conventional oil, conventional gas, shale gas, oil shale, or pretty much anything else.  I know of nowhere else on the planet where people produce from a rock that is both so narrow and so low porosity at such depth yet so vast in extent.  Trying to extrapolate people's experience with the first round of investment in Montanan  oil production from the Bakken shale to "everything produced from fracking, anywhere" is really quite absurd.

                  •  Oh, and here's the graph... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    that you neglected to link.

                    Really, even with that, though, still how can you draw any conclusions?  You don't know how much money was pumped into what locales and in what time periods in order to gauge how effective of a payoff it is.  For all you know, Montana got a giant round of investment in maybe '03-'05, and since then people decided North Dakota is a better investment and pumped their money there instead.  Hey, the production graphs sure would seem to support that.

              •  You're mixing up terms here by assuming all shale (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                is the same.  The Bakken is a "shale" formation, meaning that it's made up of shale rock, hence its full name is the "Bakken Shale".  But it's not that simple.  Oy, looks like we're going to totally have to start at the beginning here.

                Carbon is always being sequestered and released from the crust in various forms.  As mentioned in the previous post, of interest is kerogen, the source material for oil and natural gas.  This is basically long chains of decayed organic matter in sedimentary rock.  Most commonly it is found in shale, which basically means mineralized mud.  Hence shale is generally the source rock for oil and natural gas.

                Shale which still has a large amount of kerogen - aka, has not been "baked" by the Earth, cracking the long chains of carbon - is known as "oil shale".  Some oil shales are so kerogen-rich that they burn.  

                When an oil shale source rock layer is baked under pressure, first tar is is produced, then oil, and onwards with increasing  temperatures and longer times, up to natural gas.  But that is not enough to make an oil or gas reservoir because, well, liquids and gases in high pressure environments leak.  These lead to natural discharges of oil (which decays to tar as it loses its volatiles, and ultimately washes up on beaches and gets buried over time) and natural gas.  Much rarer is that they are captured in what is known as a trap, and this is what petroleum geologists crave.  A trap generally consists of two parts (overlaying the third part, the source rock).  The first part of the trap is the reservoir, which consists of rocks with pore space in which oil or natural gas can exist.  The second part is the cap, an impermeable or poorly-permeable layer of rock overlaying the reservoir.  Beyond this, it must be naturally structured in some sort of approximation of a dome - that is, the hydrocarbons can't just migrate laterally around it.

                The unusual Bakken field is both the source rock and reservoir; its own oil, properly "baked" out, is trapped in itself.  However, it is a really cruddy reservoir; in addition to being very thin, it has incredibly low porosity.  The oil cannot migrate well at all through it.  So to produce from it, you have to first get to this narrow layer, then run numerous lateral pipes through it that aren't far apart from each other (can't just sink a couple wells and pump from the whole formation), and then you have to try to frack and inject solvents and proppants and everything else under the sun to try to open up the reservoir as much as you can.  It's such an unusual reservoir, though, nobody really knows how to produce properly from it.  If there wasn't so danged much oil there, right convenient in the heartland of the US, nobody would bother.

                This is utterly different from "oil shale", which as mentioned above, is shale which has not yet had its kerogen baked out.  I briefly summarized the process for producing oil from oil shale in my previous post.  The direct-mining methods are pretty straightforward, sort of like producing oil from surface bitumen in Alberta.  Much more production potential is from in-situ approaches, however, and this is where nobody can say how the technology will play out on the large scale yet.  The small scale has been going well, however, and I strongly caution people against automatically assuming "new technology = not going to happen".  That's what people said about the Canadian bitumen, and now it's public enemy number one in the environmental movement.  Surface-mined oil shale obviously has no use for fracking.  In-situ oil shale production can use it or not use it depending on the rock properties (if the rock in question already has high porosity, there's no need to frack it).

                •  Your concern is the term "oil shale"? (0+ / 0-)

                  Oy, :) obviously you have some geology in your background.  The term "oil shale" is used by the article quoted in the diary.

                  I would ask that you look beyond whether that particular term is being used in it's strict geological definition, and look at the fracking technology itself, which is the point of the diary.  The industry has made promises of tremendous increases of cheap oil and gas, because of the advances in fracking technology.  The per well oil production from fracked wells in the Bakken shale formation, disprove these claims.  A few posts above are some graphs showing similar results for NG fracked wells in the Barnett shale formation.

                  The economic impact of this rapid production decline from both fracked oil and fracked NG wells will force up the price of these fuels and make both solar and wind much more competitive, which is the point of the diary.

                •  Rei (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Xavier Onassis EMTP

                  Thanks for the great explanation of how this process works. I admit I really knew nothing about it other than it is bad for the environment.

            •  What disturbs me (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pollwatcher, trueblueliberal

              Is that the Prosperity for America funder from NC, Art Pope, is still pushing for fracking here (North Carolina).

              We're in a Triassic basin with near vertical fault lines.  This is a different formation from the rest of the state.  We have exactly two data points from this unusual geologic area.  So almost no data.  Maximum risk to the environment, as I understand it, not that much NG known to be available.  They're ramming it down out throats despite multiple "torches and pitchforks" town halls.

              No laws or support industry for gas/oil at all, no ability to regulate or enforce, so that's a plus for them.  But they're leasing up land as fast as they go, and they've bought the state legislature to make it happen.  Will they make enough money back to cover the overall investments?  Doesn't seem like it.  Then again they'll have a lot of poisoned land, and complete control over the laws here.

              It's almost like it's an ideological thing rather than a financial one, for the people driving it.

          •  Can't (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            the Kochs finance it themselves?

            •  Sure, but can they make money at it? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Xavier Onassis EMTP

              Drilling a well is pretty expensive, and if the production drops off as fast as the graphs indicate, it could take a lot longer to get a good return on their investment.  And if they have to start paying for some of the environmental damage the gazillions of wells are doing, it becomes unprofitable unless the price rises a lot.

        •  I don't see why (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pollwatcher, katrinka

          we have to resign ourselves to shale for many years.  I hope we're close enough to a social tipping point to put our feet down.

          There's no reason Lee County couldn't become a major manufacturing hub for solar and other technology, with installation jobs galore.

          At some point the powers that be are going to wake up and smell the coffee, that we're getting left in the dust by sticking with big fossil.

        •  Yup, short term wells, long term pollution. n/t (0+ / 0-)

          Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

          by FarWestGirl on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 04:50:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  This is the story big gas doesn't want (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollwatcher, peptabysmal

        anyone to know.

        Big gas is also running transportation pipelines all over the US. [I Fixed The Link] The Ongoing Saga Of Spectra Gas In NJ & NY/And I Love Kossacks!

        The fracking and big gas corporations, plans will destroy what's left of our country and leave us all that pipeline.

        I rec'd and tipped your diary pollwatcher. Great diary, Thanks.

        And The Statue Of Liberty Thanks You For Your Activism

        Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

        by rebel ga on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:42:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to hear that.  I hope it doesn't happen in my community, where they're pushing to frack using all kinds of dirty tricks.  Our good buddies at Prosperity for America, ramming their prosperity right down our throats.

  •  Nice, so it's all about WellFare for strippers! (10+ / 0-)

    Great source of info and insight, thanks for the very informative diary.

    "I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! " -Pappy O'Daniel

    by jakewaters on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 04:59:46 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for highlighting this subject... (6+ / 0-)

    When are we going to realize that the production of "finite energy sources" is just that: finite.

    The cost is just too great.

    "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

    by markthshark on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 05:06:01 AM PDT

  •  The external costs of fracking, also, are just (9+ / 0-)

    being realized on a societal level.  Once those very serious costs (groundwater depletion, groundwater pollution, seismic disruptions, and infrastructure dismantlement costs) become an integral part of the public discourse, fracking will become as tainted a fuel extraction method as mountain top removal.

    I just heard this morning on NPR that Gallup put out a new poll that gauges the attitude of the citizens of the various states as to how they believe the US economy is doing (can't locate the piece online, sorry).  West Virginia is at the bottom of that barrel.  I wonder how much the desecration of their natural environment via coal mining has to do with that depressed outlook?

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

    by nailbender on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 05:07:52 AM PDT

    •  West Virginian Economy Main Concern (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrJersey, caul

      The WV citizens' attitude on the economy stems from their finding it more difficult to actually find mining jobs and little to do with the destruction of their natural environment.  Those of us from outside the area of coal mining and mountain-top removal should keep in mind that the  mountain-top removal process is capital intensive, not labor intensive.  It replaces people with ultra-large equipment.  Where a typical mine might need a few hundred people to operate effectively and efficiently, a mountain-top removal site might be able to get by with less than one hundred.  Combine that with the utilities' shift from coal to cheap natural gas and the coal mining companies have seen their shipments trend down, even with electricity demand at all time highs.  Throw in a more aggressive regulatory environment wherein laws protecting underground miners are actually enforced rather than winked at and one sees the coal mining companies just walking away because they can't extract outrageous rates of profit from their criminal enterprise.  Time are tough in the coal-mining country and they will not be getting much easier.  The funny thing is that over the long run, if the frakking techniques were employed wholesale in coal formations years before the physical mining were started,  the coal mining companies could extract the excess methane for profit and make the subsequent mining safer for high production rate processes like long-wall mining with the most aggressive systems.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:28:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your comment about WVians' state of mind is based (0+ / 0-)

        on what?  I appreciate that they have lots to be depressed about, but am surprised that living in amongst moonscape wastelands (which are constantly being enlarged, threatening heretofore unaffected inhabitants), where tailing ponds are a constant threat in the background, and wildlife has been driven away isn't a big deal to them.  Maybe you have some data explaining this strangely numb psychological condition?

        "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

        by nailbender on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 10:42:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wow! I thought it was a scam from the start (14+ / 0-)

    Everybody gets RICH! America gets energy independence!
    Failing farmland becomes productive again!

    but what about exploding wells? poisoned groundwater? slag heaps? fire from the kitchen tap? sick cattle?

    oh! pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

    profits! jobs! wealth for everyone!

    and always with exclamation points...and once again we sell the future for a handful of beans

  •  This confirms information we were (7+ / 0-)

    given here in Ohio, for people who were so anxious to sign up, thinking they hit the gravy train. They thought they were going to get their royalties for many years, like a regular gas well. Not so much, they were told.

    Where I live is just at the end of the Marcellus shale and where the Utica shale is thicker. Utica shale is much deeper than Marcellus and thus even more likely to affect water supplies. Not to mention the other problems like methane release, noise, lights, etc.

    People are nuts to think this is the answer to our energy problems. Renewables, baby!

    •  Deeper is less likely to affect water supplies (8+ / 0-)

      I'm pretty sure water at the depth of the Utica shale in Ohio is saline. Because fracking operations have often been dirty and sloppy at the surface, all fracking operations are a threat to water supplies. However, the shallow fracking operations have more potential to force contaminants into aquifers and drinking water because of proximity.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 05:41:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was told that the drilling will go through (4+ / 0-)

        water supplies to get to the Utica. Because well casings often fail, the water could be contaminated that way.

        Maybe I was told incorrect information. Not that it would make me feel better about the whole thing!

        •  Good point. (4+ / 0-)

          There are a lot of questions about well casings, and the fracking fluids following natural and new fractures in the rock into other aquifers.  They are drilling so many wells so fast, we unfortunately may find many new ways that they're polluting the good aquifers.

        •  Deeper Is Less Likely to Contaminate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Yes, the drilling will need to go through water supplies to get at deep shale formations.  However, well casings are not intended to fail, the wells are designed to be sealed and the whole purpose of a well-designed well is to keep it as tightly bound as possible to maximize production.  Leaks mean less production and higher production costs, if not outright loss of the well.

          The prospect for real contamination develops when the fracking is being done in a shallow formation in proximity of water sources.  The fracking is an open process.  It needs to expand out into a rock formation which is not fully understood under the best of circumstances.  Therefore, it isn't designed to be leak-proof or sealed, just the opposite.  By fracking a formation located somewhere near a water source, porosity can be introduced by design which facilitates the flow of the fracking fluids and other liquids trapped in the rock formation into the rock formation channeling the water.  Just imagine the difference you will see in the effect of leaks between a drill pipe about 6 inches in diameter and a hole punched in the ground about 600 yards in diameter.

          "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

          by PrahaPartizan on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 10:47:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think it's (3+ / 0-)

          the same drilling/concrete technology they used in Deepwater Horizon.  So clearly nothing could possibly go wrong there.

  •  Home Run! (nt) (0+ / 0-)

    Call exploitation and debt slavery whatever you want.

    by jcrit on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 05:30:05 AM PDT

  •  The Republican message to voters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Go frack, yourself!"

    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore

    by Minerva on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 05:52:24 AM PDT

  •  Promises, promises (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, OhioNatureMom, scarvegas

    And the way they get leases is by showing folks only the first part of the curves.  Those farmers who think they will soon get to retire on royalties end up getting contaminated land with no more money rolling in.

    It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.

    by GrinningLibber on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 05:55:31 AM PDT

  •  Meanwhile, in SoCal, an electricity emergency (5+ / 0-)

    It's hot this month. Always is, but this year is pretty significant, most inland LA temps in the 100's, coastal hitting upper 80's-90's. SoCal Edison's nuke plant, San Onofre, is down due to some mystery involving deteriorating cooling pipes (a story for another time--this plant is a mess.)

    With the heat, the nuke plant off-line, SCE has called an electricity emergency, what they call a Flex Alert, asking customers to cut power usage from noon to late afternoon.

    Ever fly into LAX? Fly over all those square miles of sun-baked industrial flat roofs and thousands of homes? Looks like a solar paradise, doesn't it?

    So here we are half-way through 2012, technology so advanced we've got powerful computers in everyone's hands, and yet we can't figure out the benefit to putting photovoltaics on every rooftop? Or even on top of all the industrial buildings? Here in SoCal, as the Beach Boys sang, the West Coast has the sunshine and the girls all get so tan...why are we still dithering with depending on an old, deteriorating, unsafe nuke plant and gas-fired electric plants being fed NG from fracking? When we could install many megawatts of decentralized power starting within the year?

    Oh yeah, there's no profit for the entrenched oil&gas industry and their paid political puppets.

  •  This is a fascinating post... to me (4+ / 0-)

    My oldest son is working in the Bakken Oil fields and has been doing so for about 6 months. He works in the construction division and puts up 'man camps' and office buildings.

    Just had a conversation with him Sunday night, and please keep in mind I have no control over the political views of my children LOL. He and I are complete opposites!

    These are his talking points:
    1. The companies aren't hiring until after the election :)
    2. The companies may just cap off the wells until the prices get stabilized.
    3. There is no way to get the oil to the refineries in the south; they need that Keystone pipeline built so that the companies can tap into it to ship the oil to the refineries.
    4. There are now lots of equipment sitting in the various yards.

    Another interesting - to me - tidbit was that during the Bush administration, they pushed through the permits to allow the drilling, because they knew it wouldn't get done under a democratic administration - if the dem won.

    Thanks for a great diary!

  •  It won't be burst for long. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan, Mr Robert

    The only reason the shale gas bubble burst was they produced so much of it they oversupplied the market.  They stopped drilling once the low price of gas made it uneconomic.

    This is a very temporary problem.  As you commented, these wells drop off peak production very rapidly, so a cessation in drilling quickly reduces supply.

    As they're already moving towards NGL export facilities (they've already built one, it just has to be retrofitted since it was originally supposed to import gas) the price will go up and the shale gas drilling will resume.

    Natural gas prices in the US are really, really low compared to world averages, in part because it's difficult to export.

    •  Bingo! (0+ / 0-)

      The price of NG went down so low that it's no longer worth drilling for it. So, in the past year, the number of NG rigs went down 44% and the number of Oil rigs went up 39%.

      But, as you say, this is a temporary problem because the NG wells dry up quickly, supply goes down, and prices go up. But, if and when NG exports get approved, the demand will increase and this will also put pressure on prices which in turn will bring more NG drilling rigs online.

      Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

      by Mr Robert on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 12:16:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem with Guessing about Natural Gas Prices (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan, Mr Robert
    "See that bounce that's occurred since April?  That actually represents about a 50% rise in NG prices.  Why in the world would NG prices be rising in a slow economy and if we're just beginning a Fracking revolution that will give us 100 years of NG?  My guess is, big time investors have woken up and can no longer be fooled by the Fracking lie."
    One does not have to guess about natural gas prices, they are a function of supply and demand.  Natural Gas prices bottomed in May at the end of a low demand, incredibly warm winter.  This caused gas producers to curtail more than half of their drilling activity.  With reduced supply gas prices have risen as demand for natural gas in the production of electricity (replacing coal - a good thing) has, concurrently, increased in this very warm summer.

    "Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest"

    by HoyaChris on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 06:26:37 AM PDT

    •  Yes, NG production is not economical here. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freesia, Mr Robert

      When they start capping wells to raise the price, it tells you something.  If they have to force the price up, the consumers are going to get a surprise, and Solar and Wind become even more competitive.

      The entire meme has been we have a hundred years of NG, but what they didn't say is, not at the price you're used to.

      As the true price of these carbon fuels are realized, they will become less competitive with solar and wind.  The fracking meme is a con job.

      •  Natural gas prices (0+ / 0-)

        need to at least double before there will be an increase in supply of NG from fracking. At current prices, the producers aren't making enough money to justify the investment.

        Frankly, I hope that happens for a lot of reasons not least of which is because I receive natural gas royalties from a number of traditional gas wells in Texas and I've watched my checks go from thousands down to hundreds of dollars. So fracking has really hurt me in the pocket book.

        Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

        by Mr Robert on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 12:22:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The environmental cost of fracking puts it on par (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher, freesia, mojo workin

      with coal. NG burns 50% cleaner than coal, but before it ever gets to the burning stage it has endangered the water table of the continent, polluted land, water and air with the drill pads, the waste water and the burn offs.

      To the Gas Industry: "What the frack are you doing to our air and water?"

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 06:58:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a bit confusing (5+ / 0-)

    You're mixing shale gas and shale oil in your discussion.

    But you're right about both declining in production much faster than anyone in the industry or media acknowledges.  It's a stopgap that's being sold as a long-term fix.

    More than that, we need more folks at this site talking about and understanding the consequences of peak oil.  (This is something I was writing diaries about frequently but gave up after a while.) - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

    by barath on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 06:32:42 AM PDT

    •  Peak Economic Oil (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      barath, PrahaPartizan

      Sorry for mixing oil and gas, this particular report was about oil fracking, but over at many have made the same arguments about gas.

      Keep going after the peak oil argument.  I don't think people realize that oil/gas prices have to keep rising, a lot, in order to make the extraction technologies economical.  Sure, there's a lot of oil in the ground, but it's hard to get oil and it's going to cost a lot more than solar/wind to get it out of the ground.

  •  Glenn Beck had a similar story some weeks ago, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    only it was presented more as a case of the production not being able to pay back the investment because the cornucopia of new supply would permanently lower the price of gas below the cost of putting in new wells. The effect of that scenario is about the same, not as much new production as hyped, prices bound to go up in the end when the bubble bursts.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 06:44:54 AM PDT

  •  I'm not an expert, but there's a difference (4+ / 0-)

    between shale oil and NG.
    Your NG chart shows a small bump that could simply be  a response to slowed development, due to the drop in price, or a product of speculation.

    I'm not a supporter of the oil industry. I think Exxon Mobil should be broken up.
    I think subsidies should be eliminated.
    I think there are big problems with the amount of fresh water going into fracking operations.
    I think there are legitimate questions about damage to our water and air from fracking.
    I do not think the oil/gas industry can be trusted on its own to give us the proper factual information.
    Sec. Chu is on the record saying that the extraction can be done without damage to our water and air, given proper oversight.
    Coal is much worse than natural gas, and massive coal plants use up billions of gallons of water and pollute by the millions of tons over the life of a plant.
    I don't think we've had a definitive discussion on the issue beyond the hype on one side and the hysteria on the other side.
    Finally, I'm way more than ready to get on with solar energy. That should be pushed to the front of the pack and it should stay there. Wind second. New renewable fuels next. Equally important is energy efficiency and conservation.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 06:47:47 AM PDT

    •  I think your Diary is kind of Unfair/Deceptive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jdt112, PrahaPartizan

      I admit, I work for people who have NG interests. I do not work for any of them but I have been to enough continuing legal education hours to understand what is going on.

      There is no doubt that the Marcellus shale in PA/OH/NY-mostly PA has and it has been known- about enough NG to power the United States for 10 years.

      It has been known about for awhile. I have never seen it or the Utica used to say anything about oil independence. And in truth to the best of my knowledge NG prices are basically at all time lows.

      I dont think anyone is saying that Oil independence is achievable. At least I do not see it. I see honest assessments about how to deal with the influx of the Texas oil-men going in and getting land. As those are the only true NG companies that can get to it. Most NG companies- smaller- don't have the ability, they might own the rights, but they cannot frack.

      Also, as to fracking I do not think and have thought for a while that there is enough info to condemn any specific fracking at a specific time. It is an extremely complex business. TO the extent that brine disposal is a problem in truth the EPA has a lot of the blame (compare to OH passing cutting edge laws in 2012).

      Sorry I disagree, I do not see the big deal. Plus for all I know people from Montana left to go to the Marcellus fairway or the Utica.

      •  Did not see your comments about Shale Oil being (0+ / 0-)

        focus, I guess take my comment for its worth but its not as applicable, I do not know, and from what I understand the industry does not know how much shale oil there is.

        That is in the Marcellus it is unique because both are present but they dont know the extent there is oil (nor do they have a legit fix to radiation laden brine due to the contents from the earth of that area).  Again the EPA is a big blame in how they said to dispose IIRC.

      •  About the 10 years (0+ / 0-)

        There is in theory enough natural gas to power the US for 10 years.

        1. That doesn't mean it will

        2. The extraction rates are probably way below that

        •  Right (0+ / 0-)

          So it's a big fat lie and a red herring in the first place.  Our grid also doesn't run on NG in the first place.

          Whereas solar and wind, which we know actually work with little to no environmental impact and can be tied right in easily.

          The whole thing is such an obvious racket for big fossil, it slays me that we're even talking about it.

      •  There is plenty of information to condemn fracking (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ClevelandAttorney, pollwatcher

        in response to your comment here:

        Also, as to fracking I do not think and have thought for a while that there is enough info to condemn any specific fracking at a specific time. It is an extremely complex business. TO the extent that brine disposal is a problem in truth the EPA has a lot of the blame (compare to OH passing cutting edge laws in 2012).
        for example, with excellent references and tons of info:

        ❧To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:26:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As I said Specific Fracking at a Specific time (0+ / 0-)

          I see it as a buzz-word to rally against. Maybe it should be. Maybe not, but a lot of examples such as EPA's mishandling of radioactive Brine lay at EPA's hands, and better regulation and understanding.

          Also I am saying that (I do not consider myself informed) to people who don't care, I don't think people can explain well enough the idea of proponnents, brine disposal, area specific seismic or radioactive concerns, etc yet. Which makes me wince a little as I just hear "Fracking causes earthquake" well, ok, how, explain it so average joe understands. As I doubt that the same concerns are present at each well.

          Just as I am challenging (and you took up) my challenge of more information.

          But just the same environmentalists will tell you the Govt and Industry wont let us look at what we want.

          Again regulation that is forward looking, that looks out for the land owner and environment while weighing the cost of ignoring what they have is IMO the best approach after a thorough understanding (which may never happen).

          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
            Which makes me wince a little as I just hear "Fracking causes earthquake" well, ok, how, explain it so average joe understands. As I doubt that the same concerns are present at each well.
            The earthquakes are at the wastewater disposal sites, not the wells themselves.  So the concerns don't apply to each "well,"  (though the air, soil and groundwater are immediately trashed at each well) they pertain to the disposal sites.  That's why we now have earthquakes in Arkansas.  So yes, that's a unilateral concern at each and every one.

            Even if it were only an occasional concern, when has an earthquake ever been caused by a solar panel?

        •  Your Link was an excellent article (0+ / 0-)

          Which I wish most ppl immediately hearing Frack and having a negative connotation would read.

          But it is certainly written exploring the outside and far-reaching consequences.

          I am saying at this well, where fracking occurs, brine is re-used, and disposed safely into injection wells monitored, etc. it is a false equivalency to say look at the consequences on this individual's well water in Montana.

          The technology has been around now for a little over 10 years in reality. And as your article says loopholes created to shield the truth. I am completely in favor of removing those loopholes. Removing the shield, and seeing, ok how can you do this while still minimizing impact.

          As a concept it is obviously (fracking) one that industry has not been forced to take accountability for. But that does not mean there is not a feasible way to extract, and benefit communities by royalties.

          Do I know one? No. My hope is that rather than immediately rush to condemn, regulation kicks in and the public has their say. The general concept is of course simple, but as your article goes to the  extremes it shows how it cannot be applied across the board. Whether black shales in state A or radon brine in state B.

          There are different considerations everywhere, and I find it hard to believe there is not a way to more effectively re-use brine/dispose into injection wells safelt. There is enough money there, but there is obviously enough money to stop thinking.

          Which leaves us here. Fracking as is has done terrible thing. Is it necessary terrible? I don't know. Those are extremes and there are so many wells I cannot count. WIll we consider if nomatter what the circumstances it is terrible? I hope. Then we can properly regulate.

          It is as much playing into one side as another to condemn the idea based on how it is utilized now compared with adding could it be utilized differently and more safely? I prefer the middle.

          •  Fracking was never feasible and they are not just (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Xavier Onassis EMTP

            finding that out now. There needs to be a moratorium on it while seeking a way to repair some of the horrendous damage it has inflicted.

            Even the Wall Street Journal is coming out against it. Research fracking as an investor as I did and you will find warnings.

            ❧To thine ownself be true

            by Agathena on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 08:12:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think Production of Fossil Fuels has (0+ / 0-)

              always been a problem since the first oil wells were drilled in PA and no one had any clue what was to come.

              Eventually (back then) some sensible states like OH passed laws after seeing the fall-out. In fracking/shale play OH appears to have learned from prior mistakes and proactively passed revisions to Ohio's Revised Code that went into affect in I think June. (ORC 1509).

              It takes into consideration environmental, land-owner, etc and is the furthest reaching regulatory consideration of shale I know of.

              Considering there are something like 150,000 fracking wells in PA I don't think it deserves the label it gets which is as if it is a very isolated practice and has a 1 to 1 negative impact. It's simply not true.

              Beyond regulation land-owners can choose to not lease. Or demand certain terms.

              I don't think it is politically feasiable to create a moratorium. Nor necessary.

              What is needed is the curtain to come down, to verify what you set forth, or not, and allow for greater public comment and Private and Govt testing.

              •  This is (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wonmug, Agathena

                a shockingly naiive statement coming from an attorney.

                Beyond regulation land-owners can choose to not lease. Or demand certain terms.
                The oil companies have a lot of experience at their games.  Rural communities (much less individual landowners) are in no way sophisticated enough to think of it as negotiating on a level playing field.  It's like saying children should say no to their molesters.  Then if it doesn't work out for them, they can have recourse.

                So let me ask you this.  My neighbor across the road leases his 200 acres to be fracked.  He's demanded whatever "terms" you're talking about and got them.  He doesn't live here.  I live directly across the road.  I bought the house on 1 acre across from the vast wooded area that is soon to be fracked.  How's that working out for me?  Should I just go frack myself?

                •  I'm sorry to hear that Xavier (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Xavier Onassis EMTP

                  The industry should consult all the neighbor and not go forward until they all agree.

                  The home land owner is going up against a billion dollar corporation that has government support and very little oversight.

                  No matter what, fracking produces tons of contaminated waste water which is either put into ponds or injected back into the earth. This alone will damage the surrounding environment.

                  This is what I read today

                  We live on the edge of a huge natural gas field, so we've had a couple wells very close to us in the last few years. The company notified us about the last one before they started drilling, and we met with them (along with our neighbor) to 'discuss our concerns'. We really have no recourse other than contacting our elected representatives, which I did. You can bet the drilling went on.

                  I did a lot of research before meeting with the company, and learned that above all, we didn't want them to be fracking with those nasty chemicals. They said they had to in order to get the gas out, so that was that.

                  And they drill 24/7 until the well is done. They're LOUD. They're BRIGHT.
                  [name withheld]

                  ❧To thine ownself be true

                  by Agathena on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 06:24:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                    people from Ohio and Pennsylvania drove here on their own dime to come and warn us.  They already explained to us how the games they play with leasing destroyed families and ultimately entire communities, pitting people at each other's throats over money.

                    The traffic goes from what I have now -- hours going by without a single vehicle passing my house -- to 18-wheelers every 7 seconds 24 hours a day.

                    Right now, one neighbor has a light about half a mile from my house.  Get ready for nighttime baseball.

                    Drunk driving and crime rates from asshole oil workers went through the roof.  As did rental rates, so there was suddenly a homeless crisis.

                    There's so much more, but it's too depressing.

      •  Question (0+ / 0-)
        Also, as to fracking I do not think and have thought for a while that there is enough info to condemn any specific fracking at a specific time. It is an extremely complex business.
        What if we, the citizens of the community about to be fracked, believe we've already seen enough results from fracking in other communities, and just plain don't want it?  

        They want to do some "test drills" in my county to see how that'll go.  What if we the people say thanks but no thanks?  If things don't work out, we still have a poisoned well.  How much information do we need to let them gather at our expense?

        They also want to disclose "98%" of the chemicals they'll be using in our area.  The other 2% (they claim) are "trade secrets."  Why should we give a flying hairy rat's ass about their vested interests?

        I know the viewpoint you stated sounds logical to you.  It makes me feel utterly doomed to see it stated on DK.

    •  That bump in the price. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ClevelandAttorney, Mr Robert

      What I was trying to get at was that NG can not be produced at a profit at these prices, with the current technology.  That easy gas can be got at quickly, but it forces prices down so much, they stop drilling and start capping wells to get the price back up.

      So NG is going to cost more, because of the cost of extraction, and then these wells are going to dry up and drilling new wells into harder to get areas, will cost even more.  So the idea we're going to have a hundred years of gas, at anywhere near the recent prices, is a fallacy.

      Meanwhile, the price of solar and wind keeps getting cheaper.

      •  From a macro perspective and 95% I agree with (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        as we are not really debating. I misunderstood.

        But, jc, from the inside I can tell you who I work for cannot wait for the winter to drill as much NG as they can (they do not frack) even at the low prices the company pays a 6 cent dividend a month. Pretty good considering their market cap.

        But that is not Macro economics that was just an interesting comment or convo I heard a few weeks ago. I would delete above to not further confuse but cannot.

        I don't know where the 100 years is, I guess blowing in the wind :-).

        Does anyone actually know about wind-power have experience with leasing because I know a pretty great spot in Ohio I bet would house quite a few.

      •  You're right about the slowing of production due (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollwatcher, ClevelandAttorney

        to the drop in prices. That's been mentioned to me by water truck drivers here in N. Texas.
        So we're back to having employment problems as usual. In the meantime, wind is booming, but everyone's waiting to see if they renew the Production Tax Credit.

        That could be a scorching issue for Dems to use against the gop in red states, if they act on it
        They should hit the gop on it now, and force their hand.
        The gop is likely to wait until the last minute and then raise it, otherwise.

        I agree about solar, and I agree that the total cost of fossil fuels, including wars fought, cancer rates, etc. should be tallied when making policy.
        However, I think NG has a number of potential advantages that under the right circumstances ( Not only proper regulation and oversight, but the industry should stop spending millions trying to get around proper regulation and oversight, and spend that money making the energy even safer for the environment. ) makes it much preferable to other forms of energy such as tar sands or coal.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:23:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Fracking is a technique used to fool the rubes (4+ / 0-)

    It is designed to attract venture capital because it provides a big burst of production and then the snake oil salesmen take that production increase and project out the capacity based on the production history of traditional wells.  Then they go out looking for financing.  After they get the financing they sell the company and escape with the profits.  That is the scam.  And of course politicians the media who are desperate for any narrative that leads to 'Energy Independence' are the biggest rubes of all.  Yes there will be some increased production.  But at a tremendous cost of environmental degradation and water resources that we don't have.  In the end a bunch of con men will get rich and a bunch of citizens will find their lives ruined.  In other words business as usual.

    •  I don't know about this (0+ / 0-)

      I am trying to see what I disagree with.

      First, I would say 95% of NG companies (that is that exist not ownership, for all I know 5% own 95%) do NOT have the ability to Frack.

      Looking at the Marcellus for example, it is all the TX companies going there after land-men.

      Only the big boys can frack. And there are ways to make it considerably safer. The EPA just has an atrocious record so far.

    •  US governments have been subsidizing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      applied research for fracking since the end of WWII. Chances are they are still subsidizing it. Your tax money ...

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:21:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually Fracking as we now know it only began in (0+ / 0-)

        1997 in in Burnett sp? shale in Texas.

        I am by no means a proponent. I just do not believe it feasible for the president to tell (at this point) 70% or whatever of PA and a good portion of OH, yeah you have a TON of NG that we can now get too, but we won't.

        When put in context, consider how many operational wells there are v. Accidents or environmental incidences. It is really quite low.

        But in truth I can not disagree that there has been a quasi campaign to ban testing. Now, as i said before there are getting to be much better laws, see those that went into affect in OH to deal with the Utica.

        I honestly do not think there are enough facts (now that is in part the industry's fault and I largely blame the EPA). But, it is difficult for me to believe there is no viable way of extraction at a minimal environmental impact.

        For the time I think people should educate them on what is involved as it is really to me just a buzz word/idea when I guarantee most do not know what is done or how. If ultimately there is no feasible way, well Idk, I hope its not during an election.

        ie study and monitor and regulate:

            Drill pad construction and operation
            Construction, integrity, and performance of the wellbores
            Injection of the fluid once it is underground (which proponents consider the actual "fracking")
            Flowback of the fluid back towards the surface
            Blowouts, often unreported, which spew hydraulic fracturing fluid and other byproducts across surrounding area
            Integrity of other pipelines involved
            Disposal of the flowback, including waste water and other waste products

        •  The natural resources that NG fracking consumes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          protectspice, joanneleon

          that alone makes its environmental cost prohibitive. It takes tons of water that comes back contaminated with rock, chemicals and sand. That waste water is then injected back into the earth. Where are the injection sites? near ground water?

          Have you read up on the new evidence that fracking triggers small earthquakes?

          The actual "fracking" is the hydraulic fracture of the shale. That fracture takes place 8000' deep in many cases. It causes paper thin cracks in the shale allowing the gas to escape. No one knows how far that fracking goes past the shale.

          The evidence is strong and it is easily available.

          ❧To thine ownself be true

          by Agathena on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:58:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There are natural faults that can be crossed by (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PrahaPartizan, Agathena

            fracked zone creating an escape route for methane to migrate GOK. But the most common way for methane and intensely contaminated drilling fluids to escape is through failures in the casing layer around the bore holes. The after fracking production in this method involves millions of gallons of chemical laden water pumped under great pressure down hole and returned even dirtier up the same. Regular and even enhanced casing was not tested to withstand this pump and suck routine over time.

            I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.” - Frank Zappa

            by OHdog on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 10:14:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Regulations are that the casing go all the way (0+ / 0-)

              down past the aquifer but this regulation has been ignored in many cases. There is no way of knowing either if the casing is complete and without cracks or fissures. They soon find out when contamination is discovered.

              ❧To thine ownself be true

              by Agathena on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 06:27:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Have you ever heard of Billy Sol Estes? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Flim-flammery in the oil biz is as old as the industry itself.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:25:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fake ammonia tanks and mortgages on them. (0+ / 0-)

        That's what I remembered, and what Wikipedia says now, too.

        The ammonia would have been primarily used as fertilizer, and also had a use as a cleaner.

        I don't remember there being a connection to the "awl bidness", as my father would have pronounced it.

        Moderation in most things.

        by billmosby on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 08:24:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're right. I had him mixed up with someone (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          else. I was just about 6 yrs. old when all that happened.
          I'll have to do more research.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:45:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was about 16. Also, I remembered a (0+ / 0-)

            similar scheme involving solar water heating systems for swimming pools.

            Some other guy built one or two of them and then claimed a whole bunch of solar energy tax credits; he would just move them to different locations a change out the serial number tags when the auditors came snooping around.

            This was in the 80s when my first wife was an IRS Revenue Agent. It was very similar to the Billy Sol Estes fertilizer tank scheme where a few physical items were made in some way or other to represent many more.

            I think that's why I remembered Billy Sol, his scheme was reinforced in my mind by the newer one.

            I'm sure there were many scams in the oil patch, just can't remember one at the moment.

            Moderation in most things.

            by billmosby on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 10:08:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  President Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, protectspice

    has access to any expert in the world and he is an intelligent man.  

    He knows what's going on and he has made this choice nonetheless.

    I don't buy this for one minute: "The Drill Baby Drill crowd has got the media, and even President Obama, believing..."

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:12:37 AM PDT

    •  Agreed, I made a similar comment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher, joanneleon

      shale was promoted in the SOTU speech. The White House gets its information on shale from the industry lobbyists not the media.

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:18:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly, modern fracking's first buzz in the media (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      was a critical and devastating denunciation, showing the serious health problems of all living things in the vicinity and the complete ruin of the surrounding groundwater. There was the film "Gasland" which showed this all explicitly. There were the hearings regarding proposed drilling that would devastate NYC's upstate water supply, etc. etc. etc.

      Only recently has the industry began to dominate dicourse, buy TV time and so on. Obama OWNS this. This has all taken place during his term. The first (industry-speak)opinions he gave were all I needed to hear.

  •  Fracking, using the term "shale" was mentioned (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and promoted in the SOTU speech this year. I don't think Obama is being influenced by the media on this issue. This influence came from the Oil & Gas industry and their lobbyists a few years ago.

    Looks like the only thing that will stop the destructive fracking drive will be the economics.

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:13:55 AM PDT

  •  so if I read this right, NG futures are rising (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because the supply is dropping.

    But how much power generation relies upon NG for the elastic demand?  NG energy production is actually pretty efficient (if I remember my thermo classes right.  So that means that electricity costs will go up.

    That also suggests more impetus into PV, at least for daytime load balancing.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:19:16 AM PDT

    •  Power companies are switching to NG because (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      polecat, Mr Robert

      the industry has them convinced that there is a hundred years of NG, and that it will always be cheap.  They are wrong on both accounts.  This is truly a boom bust fuel.  A new technology gets everyone drilling, there's a huge supply that drives down prices, they stop drilling because of oversupply and drive the price up, repeat until so many wells go dry so fast, supply can no longer keep up with demand.

      •  Are there enough new places to drill (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to make this a cyclical pattern, or did we just experience a one-off?

        Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
        I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
        —Spike Milligan

        by polecat on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:16:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's plenty of places, but not as profitable (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Unfortunately, they can keep doing this for awhile, but investors are going to be a lot less likely to invest in something that isn't going to return the money they were told it would.

          In the mean time, solar and wind just keep getting cheaper.  Since solar and wind can be competitive with NG after the bust, my hope is the economics will turn against fracking.

          •  For solar and wind to be really useful, battery (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            tech would be the investment to make.  Grid scale power.

            Useful for fossil fuel types as well -- generate power when it's colder and more efficient.  Heck, that even applies to nuclear.

            Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
            I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
            —Spike Milligan

            by polecat on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 10:36:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  export our nat'l resources= 3rd world country (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    drill baby drill for CHINA!  
    USA USA USA....

    "kiss my ass. don't you know this is a holy site?" vulture/voucher 2012

    by stagemom on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:49:15 AM PDT

  •  Battlestar Galactica's worst curse; 'Fracking' (0+ / 0-)

    Obviously these technologically advanced, space-traveling humans knew something.

    (romney)/RYAN 2012 - You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

    by Fordmandalay on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:50:27 AM PDT

  •  True EPA Irony (0+ / 0-)

    Just Cuz. Let's assume I know someone who owns

    1. real estate interests 2. Oil and Gas.

    How backwards the EPA is from what I gather.

    The real estate interests were set to create development in a parcel that would have been absolutely perfect for development (especially needed and wanted by region/city). Literally positioned with no chance of failure, money already being lined up to develop on what I would consider earth similar to my small back-yard.

    Now let's imagine that the EPA stepped in and claimed what looks like my backyard to be "Wetlands". Perhaps, I have gone through and seen nothing wet about it, mostly dust, and trespassers dirt-biking over it.

    An ongoing 10 yr battle ensues costing the local municipalities millions in revenues, jobs (being kept here), etc. and an idiotic fight by the EPA as they are going to look like big govt as this is simply not WL's.

    Meanwhile I would imagine Oil/NG have to be turned to, as the EPA is more "Eh, go for it", pretty lax when it comes to actual drinking water (as the regulation of the project is based on the Clean Water Act). Including allowing radioactive brine in PA.

    Funny in a tragic way, no don't use your money to benefit a community as this land may be x and somehow affect water. V oh, NG, go for it.

  •  When energy companies advertise to an (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    average American - invest in the 'new' oil/gas/coal field - its generally the sign that the field is about to go bust.

  •  The cheap natural gas only has to last long enough (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to finish killing off the coal-fired power plant industry.

    And that's not going to be too much longer.  Go Obama!  Go Lisa Jackson!

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:02:30 AM PDT

    •  Romney is in W. Virginia blaming Obama (0+ / 0-)

      I heard an interview with a West Virginia coal miner who was mad as hell at Obama for allowing the EPA to stop coal production.  All I could think of was, have you looked at the price of NG lately?

      •  The dirty little secret: Romney has a point. (0+ / 0-)

        There's a reason that producing electricity from natural gas is cheaper than producing it from coal: the EPA.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:21:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Coal Power Industry Hasn't Helped Itself (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe from Lowell

          Anyone with half a brain can also recognize that the coal power industry (meaning both the coal producers and the power generators) haven't helped themselves with their hyped PR about modern coal power generation techniques.  Not one of them has bellied up to the bar and actually built a full-scale production plant using these processes to eliminate heavy metals and acids and produce CO2 sequestration or capture.  Right now, it's all just blather.  Instead they've concentrated on political lobbying to eliminate the need to do anything about fixing the problems they're causing, because their bang for the buck is cheaper buying a politician than it is equipment.  For the$100 million the new systems in a major power plant would cost, the coal power industry could buy at least one entire state legislature and part of the Congress.

          "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

          by PrahaPartizan on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 10:16:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  First Energy (known for the great NE blackout) (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PrahaPartizan, joe from Lowell

            just closed two dirty coal  burning electric generation plants on Lake Erie that were responsible for a great deal of the mercury pollution of the lake. They could have put in scrubbers and other controls in response to pressure from Sierra Club and others but went the way of least investment to make sure its profitability this quarter is  maintained. The plants would have still been profitable after amortizing the costs but the creeps would rather close it down and blame EPA and environmentalists.

            I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.” - Frank Zappa

            by OHdog on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 10:23:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Romney-Knock Down The Rockies To Get Kerogen (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe from Lowell

          It's a conversation we probably won't get to, but the GOP wants to nuke several of the western states to get at the Green River Formation, which is not oil, and that's why it's not called "Green River Oil Field."

          Colorado can either have wind turbines under Obama, or it can have an uninhabitable post-apocalyptic hellscape under Romney.

          There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

          by bernardpliers on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 11:16:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Confusion Reigns (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Pollwatcher, I've tipped and recommended this diary because I believe the information needs to be discussed, but I find disconcerting your too facile translation between graphs regarding crude oil production and natural gas frakking.  While you show graphs showing the production outputs for crude oil formations, I can't find any similar graphs for natural gas formations.  Is that because no such information exists or is simply unavailable, in which case we likely need to go back to the drawing board to see what the petroleum industry experience has been with formations which produce mostly natural gas, like the Anadarko Basin in Oklahoma or even in other tight gas formations around the US.

    "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

    by PrahaPartizan on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:38:08 AM PDT

  •  The rush is on (0+ / 0-)

    All of this nonsense can't stop quick enough.

    The rush is on here in Eastern Ohio and the dangerous optimism by everyone who sold out to the gas and oil companies is nauseating.

    The local media is head-over-heels in love with the process. TV, newspapers and radio all see dollar signs. There might have been an attempt at balanced coverage at the time of the major New Years Eve earthquake (caused by an injection well), but that has all been shoved to the backburner. Now it's all "SALES TAX REVENUES ARE UP! FARMERS ARE BUYING NEW TRACTORS WITH SHALE MONEY!"

    Politicians (Democrats and Republicans) are figuring out ways to make much needed money by selling off mineral rights of public properties (parks, schools). Even in cases where a town has nowhere to drill, government officials are begging oil and gas companies to evaluate whether some small slice of the pie can be had. County governments have taken money from gas and oil interests to digitize records so their minions can be more efficient in their quest for profits.  

    From what I can tell there hasn't been any sort of local hiring to help with the drilling. People from Texas or Oklahoma swoop in, set up shop at a site for a few weeks and are off to the next site in the region. There is not a lot of simultaneous drilling going on from what I can tell. Plenty of sites are prepped (including one I just saw the other day where the drilling company erected a huge earthen barrier to keep prying eyes away (or for safety as they would say). I figure these Texas and Oklahoma boys will slowly move from one parcel of land to the next.

    I feel worried for the people who are buying long abandoned store fronts in long dead towns in the hope that somehow the shale money will make it to them. I do not see it happening. I do see real estate hucksters making out like bandits in separating people from their savings in an attempt to get them to buy into what is perceived as an "gold rush".

  •  Also check out (0+ / 0-)

    "We don't need someone who can think. We need someone with enough digits to hold a pen." ~ Grover Norquist

    by Lefty Coaster on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 11:01:42 AM PDT

  •  The diary is not correct about gas (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, PrahaPartizan

    The author's speculation that the recent price bounce off the lows is evidence of industry running out of gas is incorrect.  The current low natural gas price reflects supply/demand imbalance, and in response many companies have decided to slow down drilling programs (fewer drilling rigs working on gas wells), and eventually, the supply will moderate and prices will go back up a bit, likely to the $4-5/ mmbtu range, I'd guess.   There is a huge amount of gas economic to develop in the $4 to $5 price range - meaning decades and decades of supply of shale gas in this price range.  A hundred year supply is doable, but will likely be more like $10 /mmbtu in the out years.

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    by TX Dem 50 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 11:04:55 AM PDT

  •  Lies and the lies lying liar's lie. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The long term outlook for production is a lie, and the impact in the short and long term on the water shed by these activities are a lie.

    How does anyone stand by and allow their water supply... drinking and irrigation... to be poisoned, even IF it were for vast rewards, let alone in light of the truth about the rewards being far less grand in the end.

    A flawless example of the filthy rich selling your very lives down the drain just to add a few pallets of $100 bills to their giant idle pile of cash from previous thievery.

    The next time the frakking guy comes to sell you a bill of goods.... stand your ground and "metaphorically" of course,  shoot him in the face.

  •  Blow Baby Blow! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Shine Baby Shine!

    Wow, it's like we found a new source of local energy!

    Help! The GOP is NUTS (& the Dems need some!)

    by Tuba Les on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 12:16:55 PM PDT

  •  Additional factors (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, pollwatcher, PrahaPartizan

    I have also seen graphs of the rapid decline in NG production from older fracked wells.  The problem is that fracking opens up so many new, vast, potential NG fields, that even as some older wells go dry, there are thousands of square miles of abundant fields still untapped.

    While NG prices may have blipped up in the last few months, the overseas NG prices are still 500% higher than NG prices in the US, (about $15 there and $3 here) providing a huge profit margin for producers who supply a liquified natural gas export terminal that can ship overseas.

    One LNG export terminal has already been approved, and a dozen more LNG export terminal applications are waiting in line, in Maryland, the Gulf, and Oregon.

    I see fracking's most severe public relations problem as their apparent inability to get the well casings "right,"  allowing the many odious examples of gross groundwater contamination shown in Gasland.

    I personally am just as upset by a lesser-known feature of fracking, which is the wholesale discharges of pure methane during the well completion process, which is a virulent greenhouse gas, far deadlier than carbon dioxide.

    The EPA could implement regulations to stop the methane discharges with little expense to the drillers, but has not.

  •  Right on (0+ / 0-)

    I've been reading this stuff on the Oil Drum, from Chris Nelder on Smart Planet, and on Energy Bulletin for a while - you wrote the post I've been mulling for a while.

    Nice job.

    “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

    by SolarMom on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:06:23 PM PDT

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