Cold, Hungry and in the Dark: Exploding the Natural Gas Supply Myth
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Relying on faulty science, bought-and-paid-for-white papers masquerading as independent research and "industry consultants," the "shale promoters" have vastly overstated the viable supply of shale gas resources for their own financial gain. This startling exposé, written by an industry insider, suggests that the stakes involved in the Enron scandal might seem like lunch money in comparison to the bursting of the natural gas bubble. Exhaustively researched and rigorously documented, Cold, Hungry and in the Dark:
- Puts supply-and-demand trends under a microscope
- Provides overwhelming evidence of the absurdity of the one hundred-year supply myth
- Suggests numerous ways to mitigate the upcoming natural gas price spike
The mainstream media has told us that natural gas will be cheap and plentiful for decades, when nothing could be further from the truth. Forewarned is forearmed. Cold, Hungry and in the Dark is vital reading for anyone concerned about the inevitable economic impact of our uncertain energy future.
Bill Powers is an author, private investor, contrarian and sits on the board of directors of Calgary-based Arsenal Energy.
Economic Analysis, “National Income and Product Accounts Table—Percent Change From Preceding Period in Real Gross Domestic Product,” Accessed May 19, 2011, Years 1978–1987 selected, bea.gov/national/nipaweb/TableView.asp?SelectedTable=1&ViewSeries=NO&Java=no&Request3Place=N&3Place=N&FromView=YES&Freq=Year&FirstYear=1978&LastYear=1987&3Place=N&Update=Update&JavaBox=no#Mid. US Department of Energy, “Alternative Fuels Data center,” accessed, January 11, 2013,
rates. Since shale wells are purported to have productive lives of between 40 and 65 years (more on this in Myth #3), small changes in terminal decline rates can make a big difference in a well’s EUR. For example, it is common for shale companies to use terminal decline rates of between 3 and 7 percent; Devon Energy, for instance, uses a 6 percent terminal decline rate for its Barnett Shale wells.60 However, according to work done by Arthur Berman, results from the Barnett indicate that a
Early Release, the EIA projected the US contained technically recoverable unproven shale gas resources of 827 tcf.11 This estimate was up from its 2010 reference case estimate of 347 tcf.12 Figure 19.01—taken from the 2011 Annual Energy Outlook Early Release—clearly shows the EIA’s vision that increasing shale gas production will not only replace a decline in imports but will also support modest production growth until 2035. Unfortunately, the EIA fails to provide data in its Annual Energy
resources from several shale plays. Let’s examine the differences between my estimate of reasonable future recoveries and the projections of the EIA/Intek of technically recoverable resources from three shale plays with significant production histories (Note: I strongly disagree with the use of the term “technically recoverable resources” in any official resource estimate since it gives credence to a largely useless estimation of future gas production): TABLE 19.01. Intek Estimates of
17-Year Overnight Sensation, Barnett Shale Play Going Strong,” accessed August 29, 2011, aapg.org/explorer/2005/05may/barnett_shale.cfm. Adams, Christopher, “The Status of Exploration and Development Activities in the Montney Play Region of Northeast BC,” April 2, 2012, Montneyempr.gov.bc.ca/OG/oilandgas/petroleumgeology/UnconventionalGas/Documents/C%20Adams.pdf, slide 6. AFP, “Troubled IKB Bank to Get 1.5-Billion-Euro Rescue Package: Minister,” news release, February 13, 2008,