"In the years from 2005 through 2008, as conventional gas supplies dried up due to depletion, prices for natural gas soared to $13 per million BTU (prices had been in $2 range during the 1990s). It was these high prices that provided an incentive for using expensive technology to drill problematic reservoirs. Companies flocked to the Haynesville shale formation in Texas, bought up mineral rights, and drilled thousands of wells in short order. High per-well decline rates and high production costs were hidden behind a torrent of production—and hype. With new supplies coming on line quickly, gas prices fell below $3 MBTU, less than the actual cost of production in most cases. From this point on, gas producers had to attract ever more investment capital in order to maintain their cash flow. It was, in effect, a Ponzi scheme. In those early days almost no one wanted to hear about problems with the shale gas boom—the need for enormous amounts of water for fracking, the high climate impacts from fugitive methane, the threats to groundwater from bad well casings or leaking containment ponds, as well as the unrealistic supply and price forecasts being issued by the industry ... One matter remains unclear: what’s the energy return on the energy invested (EROEI) in producing “fracked” shale gas? There’s still no reliable study. If the figure turns out to be anything like that of tight “fracked” oil from the North Dakota Bakken (6:1 or less, according to one estimate), then shale gas production will continue only as long as it can be subsidized by higher-EROEI conventional gas and oil. In any case, it’s already plain that the “resource pessimists” have once again gotten the big picture just about right. And once again we suffer the curse of Cassandra—though we’re correct, no one listens."
Ein Artikel von Richard Heinberg über die sich unter dem Break Even befindenden Preise für Shalegas in den USA, den Vergleich des Niederbringens immer neuer Produktionsbohrungen um den steilen Förderabfallraten entgegenzuwirken im Vergleich zu einem Schneeballsystem, der wachsenden, öffentlichen Wahrnehmung der negativen Umweltauswirkungen solcher Plays sowie der unbekannten Energiebilanz. Erschienen beim Post Carbon Institute (22. Oktober 2012).
Link zum Artikel von Richard Heinberg "Gas Bubble Leaking, About to Burst" beim Post Carbon Institute »
Link zum Artikel von Michael Stravato "After the Boom in Natural Gas" in der New York Times »
Link zum Artikel von Gail Tverberg "Why Natural Gas isn’t Likely to be the World’s Energy Savior" auf Our Finite World »