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Fracking good or fracking bad ? Is unconventional gas good for the planet and good for the economy? David P. Knight FEASTA and WinACC Unconventional gas.

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Presentation on theme: "Fracking good or fracking bad ? Is unconventional gas good for the planet and good for the economy? David P. Knight FEASTA and WinACC Unconventional gas."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fracking good or fracking bad ? Is unconventional gas good for the planet and good for the economy? David P. Knight FEASTA and WinACC Unconventional gas = shale gas + coalbed gas +tight gas +underground coal gasification

2 What is Shale gas fracking? Dec note: We have removed the diagram that originally appeared here so as not to violate copyright law. You can access it on the Analysis Group website at

3 What is Coalbed methane?

4 What is tight gas vast-shale-gas-deposits.html

5 What is underground coal gasification?

6 Unconventional gas unable to reverse decline in total gas production beyond 2025 Conventional Gas starts to Peak/ plateau about 2020

7 250 k Shell's analysis doesnt consider full cycle CO2, methane and sulfur dioxide or the fact that we must leave the 95% of the estimated fossil fuel reserves in the ground!

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9 Central estimates of warming produced by different global fossil fuel resources Omits effects of methane and SO2 After Swart, N.C.& Weaver, AJ.2012 Nature Clim. Chang. Total potentially feasible for economic extraction in Trillion tonnes of carbon Additional warming to stay within 2°C (Already had 0.8°C )

10 Methane leakage from conventional and unconventional gas production

11 .Slightly modified from Howarth RW, Santoro, R and Ingraffea, A. Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations, Climatic Change 2011 GHG emissions in g C CO2 e per MJ electricity How do GHG emissions compare for shale gas, conventional gas, and coal electricity production?

12 Tollefson, J Nature, 482, …best guess of 4% [ for fugitive methane emissions ] is slightly higher than [Howarths] estimate of 2.2–3.8% for shale gas drilling and production.

13 Three further blows to Shells Cleaner gas 1.Wigley 2011 Coal to gas : the influence of methane leakage Climatic Change 2011 DOI /s Alvarez et al Greater focus needed on methane leakage al gas infrastructure 1.Myhrvold and Caldeira 2012 Greenhouse gases, climate change and the transition from coal to low-carbon electricity

14 Summary so far Is unconventional gas good for the planet? No! All unmitigated fossil fuel burning must cease by Pursuing gas would delay investment in renewables. The evidence presented here suggests that a switch to gas for transport and electricity generation is worse for warming

15 Is unconventional gas good for the global economy ? Main source : Arthur Berman. Source Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. Presentation at ASPO USA 2010 World Oil Conference

16 ns/pdf/Hughes_D_NatGas_Boston_2006.pdf

17 Source Arthur Berman (2010) GasAbundance or Mirage? ASPO USA 2010 World Oil Conference

18 Chesapeake Energy, 2010 Institutional Investor and Analyst Meeting, (Oklahoma City, OK 2010), XBlPTM=&t=1, pg. 54. Production rate in selected typical wells in different shale gas fields. No evidence for industry claim that production can be maintained for 10 years

19 Average of major operators cumulative production will not reach advertised estimated ultimate recoverable gas soon enough add value.

20 Top 15. Data April Graphic Proven reserves much less than estimated technically recoverable

21 Shale plays have contracted to a core area. Example- Haynesville Shale Louisiana The emerging core area shrunk to ~110,000 acres or about 5 Townships. Approximately 10% of the play area in defined by limits of drilling (1.5 million acres or 65 Townships). 2 years ago, this was promoted as the 4th largest gas field in the world, and the largest in North America.

22 Average gas production per well has declined steeply despite a dramatic increase in the number of US wells producing gas. Based on data from U.S. Energy Information Administration. Source:

23 EROI for discovering Oil and Gas in the US has fallen from >1,200 to <5 ! Guilford, MG, Hall,CAS, O Connor, P., 3 Cleveland, CE A New Long Term Assessment of Energy Return on Investment (EROI) for U.S. Oil and Gas Discovery and Production Sustainability, 3,

24 Ajay K. Gupta * and Charles A.S. Hall 2011 A Review of the Past and Current State of EROI Data Sustainability, 3, www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability Global EROI for producing oil and gas

25 Data from annual reports Operator claims of profitability at <$8M/Mcf gas prices exclude many costs. Currently Henry hub price about $2M Huge operating costs related to need for thousands of expensive wells etc.

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27 Bermans conclusion Shale gas plays in the United States are commercial failures and shareholders in public exploration and production (E&P) companies are the losers.

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29 What can be done about this?

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