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If critics are correct investment in shale gas may be about to be revealed as a giant Ponzi scheme.

Shale Gas Reality Begins to Dawn  SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2012  The Automatic Earth

It has long been our position at The Automatic Earth that North America is collectively dreaming with regard to unconventional natural gas. While gas is undeniably there, the Energy Returned On Energy Invested (EROEI) is dramatically lower than for conventional supplies. The critical nature of EROEI has been widely ignored, but will ultimately determine what is and is not an energy source, and shale gas is going to fail the test.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 26th, 2012 at 08:10:53 AM EST
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Based on prices, rig counts and production levels, shenanigans with future hedging and land leaves, and internal emails contradicting the official optimism, the article and its sources make a pretty good case that the current boom is a bubble. However, IMO that doesn't exclude the possibility that there could be another boom (bubble) fuelled by foreign investors willing to pay higher prices in long-term agreements. The key issue then is, it appears to me, that of depletion rates: if it is exponential on the long term like critics claim, it will be another short bubble; if depletion flattens out over a period of decades like advocates claim, then the price will decide.

By the way, the New York Times article with the internal memos is here (the article at The Automatic Earth only links to the document viewer itself).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 26th, 2012 at 01:24:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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