Harvard University professor expects shale to boost dollar - "Harvard University professor Niall Ferguson, author of ‘The Ascent of Money,’ said he expects the dollar to rally after shale gas discoveries in North America. “I am long U.S. dollar, which is somewhat a contrarian position,” he said today in Abu Dhabi. “The benefits of the shale gas type oil revolution are still being underestimated by most observers and I think there’s a lot more upside to come in the United States than most people anticipate.” The U.S. is poised to become a net exporter of liquefied petroleum gases for the first year ever as shale-based energy production jumps, prompting new orders for specialized ships to haul propane and butane. The boom in natural gas and oil production helped the U.S. meet 84 percent of its energy needs in the first 10 months of last year, on pace to be the highest annual level since 1991, EIA data show." (Bloomberg)
Will shale oil boom or bust? - "The oil and gas industry promises "a few days of fracking" for "decades of... production." But is it true? Believe it or not, some people don't buy the fracking boom story. Some predict bust. Others, more of a petering out...Eventually the conversation turned to shale gas, a topic whose buzz about the coming shale gas revolution had just begun to reach a fevered pitch. A couple of years later many experts (and some non-experts, such as yours truly in posts like this and this) would hail shale gas as a "game changer." But Simmons distanced himself from those "experts." "It's all hype," he told me over lunch that blustery day, a sentiment he later conveyed to energy consultant Steve Andrews (co-founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas USA): "I've never seen the industry hype something crazier." When I asked him about such characterization, Simmons explained it had to do with the long-term productivity of fracked wells. The industry was claiming (and still is, by the way) that a single fracked well "can be in production for 20 to 40 years." If it's true, it's quite a deal -- frack a well, then stand back and pump out energy and profits for decades. But the unconvinced Simmons argued that he'd seen the data from existing fracked wells and they simply did not support a decades-long production curve. He was convinced that the productivity of fracked wells rapidly declined with time -- by 70 percent in the first year and another 20 percent in the second year, leaving only 10 percent for all those supposed decades of production. Was Simmons just plain wrong about fracking and tight oil and shale gas? One could argue he was. Because of shale gas, natural gas prices are as low as they've been in more than a decade, coal usage in the United States is down, and tight oil production in the Bakken and Eagle Ford formations is on the rise. Because of tight oil and shale gas, America's energy prospects have never been brighter. A recent report by the International Energy Agency predicts that the United Sates will become the world's largest oil producer by 2020 and a net oil exporter by 2030.
FrackNation woos some Republicans during private viewing - "On Tuesday afternoon, around 40 Republican staffers and members of Congress made time for a private movie screening. The feature was FrackNation, a 77-minute search for the truth about the natural gas industry. The director and star, Phelim McAleer, was on hand to accept accolades, take questions, and offer free DVDs to possible apostles. Among them: Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the new chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, who’s accused the media of a “steady pattern of bias on climate change.” “He was glad to have these points made in an easily digestible way, on screen,” McAleer says. “People know there's something smelly about Gasland, but people are suspicious about how it smells.” Released in 2010 and nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar, Gasland turned the obscure anti-fracking movement into a populist, celebrity-and-Occupy-endorsed cause. Director Josh Fox shamed Washington for passing the “Halliburton loophole” and filmed a House committee falling over itself to defend the energy industry. In 2012, when Fox tried to film a House science hearing, he was sent away in handcuffs. (He didn’t have media credentials.) That had the effect that every bogus-looking arrest has on a journalist. Fox became an even bigger star. (Slate)