[Ok-sus] Nature magazine stirs up a fight with its Fracking Fallacy article

Bob Waldrop bob at bobwaldrop.net
Fri Dec 19 17:43:52 UTC 2014

Here is a link to the Nature Magazine article which is stirring up quite 
the hissy fit tizzy in the oil and gas bidness nationwide. It dares to 
cast doubt on the confident assertions of the gas industry that we have 
100 years of natural gas.

Don't be lulled into complacency by the present low cost of natural gas. 
High prices will return. We should see this time as a moment of grace 
where we can continue to push our investments in energy conservation.

Note that part of the hissy fit is a battle of the forecasts between the 
fedgov and a team of Texas scientists. The nature of that battle is 
explained in more detail in the article, but it comes down to a matter 
of "granularity". The Texas team examined one square mile production 
units and adjusted their findings for the realities on the ground (i.e. 
unlikely that any wells will be drilled in lakes and likewise there are 
issues with drilling in cities). The feds looked at county-wide data and 
made no adjustments for on the ground realities. The issue with this is 
that shale production very clearly has sweet spots. Further, gas 
companies endeavor to drill the best spots first, and it is likely that 
most such best spots have already been found and exploited. Which is to 
say, all geography is not the same when it comes to predicting future 
yields, but the fed gov estimates tend to assume that all geography is 
the same. So one could say that the Texas team has a more realistic 
approach, while the fedgov has a more "idealistic" approach.

"Patzek argues that actual production could come out lower than the 
team's forecasts. He talks about it hitting a peak in the next decade or 
so — and after that, “there's going to be a pretty fast decline on the 
other side”, he says. “That's when there's going to be a rude awakening 
for the United States.” He expects that gas prices will rise steeply, 
and that the nation may end up building more gas-powered industrial 
plants and vehicles than it will be able to afford to run. “The bottom 
line is, no matter what happens and how it unfolds,” he says, “it cannot 
be good for the US economy.”"

Bob Waldrop, Okie City


http://www.ipermie.net How to permaculture your urban lifestyle and adapt to the realities of peak oil, economic irrationality, political criminality, and climate instability..

More information about the Ok-sus mailing list