Is Fracking an Answer? To What?


  1. The terms “shale gas” and “shale oil” have come into general use to describe the production from shale. This causes some confusion with the earlier use of “oil shale” to describe the kerogen shales that led to a failed oil rush on the Colorado Plateau a generation ago. Kerogen is a precursor of oil that must be heated and processed to make it into true crude oil.
  2. DOE/EIA “Review of Emerging Resources: U.S. Shale Gas & Shale Oil Plays”, 7-8-2011. These estimates, while published by EIA, were prepared for it by INTEK, Inc. and do not carry the authority of official estimates.
  3. Price data from DOE/EIA Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) 2011.  Preliminary production data from DOE/EIA Annual Energy Review (AER) 2010. Table 6.2 “Natural Gas Production 1949-2010”.
  4. DOE/EIA chart “Bakken Shale Production 1985-2010. Williston Basin, ND & MT” and supplemental notes.
  5. Oil & Gas Journal online, 11-7-11.
  6. Wikipedia, “Hydraulic Fracturing”, accessed 11-4-11. See The New York Times report  “The Fracturing of Pennsylvania”, 11-17-11, for a harrowing description of the experience.  EPA, Denver, 12-8-11 News Release:  “EPA Releases Draft Findings of Pavillion, Wyoming, Ground Water Investigation…”
  7. Reuters, London, 11-2-11.
  8. DOE/EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2011, table “Oil & Gas End-of-Year and Annual Reserve Additions, Reference Case.” The projections exclude Alaska.
  9. USGS, “National Assessment of Oil & Gas Reserves Update, August 2011”, and “Mean Shale Gas Resources” (8-2011).
  10. Intek study cited in Note 2.  USGS “Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the… Marcellus Shale… 2011” (posted 8-23-11).
  11. World Energy Council 2010, “Survey of Energy Resources: Focus on Shale Gas.”
  12. See Note 9. I cannot reconcile their figure for oil with a March 5, 2009 statement by USGS Energy Resources Program Coordinator Brenda Pierce to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources, that there are 48 billion barrels of recoverable undiscovered resources onshore and 86 billion barrels offshore.
  13. See my NPG FOOTNOTE “Peak Oil 2005”, September 2010.
  14. 6.3% is the median of the estimates given by a sampling of oil experts by the Wall Street Journal, 1-17-08. See my NPG FORUM “The Edge of the Abyss”, February 2008, p. 2.
  15. See, for instance the Intergovernmnental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) November 2011 report.  For a summary of the threats to forests, and the consequences, see Justin Gillis, “With Deaths of Forests, a Loss of Key Climate Protectors”, New York Times, 10-1-2011.
  16. See my NPG FORUM “The Edge of the Abyss”, February 2008, pp. 8-9.
  17. See Lindsey Grant, Juggernaut: Growth on a Finite Planet (Santa Ana: Seven Locks Press, 1996) Chapter 14 or Valedictory: The Age of Overshoot (Alexandria, Va., Negative Population Growth, 2007), “The Economists’ Myths”, pp.38-44.
  18. NPG FORUM, “The UN 2010 Population Projections: A Proposal”, June 2011

Lindsey Grant

Lindsey Grant is a retired Foreign Service Officer; he was a China specialist and served as Director of the Office of Asian Communist Affairs, National Security Council staff member, and Department of State policy Planning staff member. As Deputy Secretary of State for Environmental and Population Affairs, he was Department of State coordinator for the Global 2000 Report to the President, Chairman of the interagency committee on Int'l Environmental Committee and US member of the UN ECE Committee of Experts on the Environment. His books include: Too Many People, Juggernaut, The Horseman and the Bureaucrat, Elephants in Volkswagen, How Many Americans?

Latest posts by Lindsey Grant (see all)

Like and Share:


Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial