Tag archives for shale gas

Could your neighborhood be next? Neighborhoods can be turned upside down by shale oil and shale gas drilling (see here and here), by pipelines dug through backyards, and by pipeline spills that send crude oil across entire neighborhoods. All of it gives me the willies, but it’s always been theoretical willies as the prospects of something like…

The oil and gas industry promises “a few days of fracking” for “decades of … production.” But is it true? Believe it or not, some people don’t buy the fracking boom story. Some predict bust. Others, more of a petering out. What gives? Let’s begin with a story about a lunch. Lunch with a Skeptic In…

Fracking has now become so much a part of the fabric of American life that it has earned its first genuine Hollywood treatment. Promised Land, co-starring and co-written by Matt Damon and John Krasinski, opens today in a limited number of theaters, with wider release next week. While the energy industry has girded for battle…

History suggests he’s wrong.

North American companies are raising both cash and controversy recently in deals with Chinese firms: both American battery maker A123 and Canadian oil and gas firm Nexen have made headlines in recent weeks as some U.S. politicians question the transactions on the basis of national security. China has been ramping up foreign investment in energy…

Water samples in Pennsylvania suggest there may be natural pathways for contamination. Drinking water contamination from horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing — a k a fracking — for natural gas in Pennsylvania, does it occur? No, say the gas companies (and many geologists). A new paper adds a “but.” Many Say It Can’t Happen There…

On a recent visit to Pennsylvania, I saw signs of a natural gas boom on the wane. Googling “Pennsylvania ‘natural gas rush’” this morning got me 356,000 hits. Some may call it a gas boom instead of a rush, but, regardless, it seems to be a happening thing. The development of the technology that combines…

“This is not an engineering discussion. It is a humanities one,” Bruce Oreck, U.S. Ambassador to Finland, told an auditorium full of engineers this week at the World Renewable Energy Forum in Denver. Paraphrasing great thinkers such as Aristotle, Einstein, and Newton, Oreck said, “Words don’t just describe what we think. They shape what we…

Not fracking with millions of gallons of water this time round — waterless fracking. Americans love a good game with lots of momentum and game-changing shifts. Who would have thunk — shale gas extraction is turning out to be one of the most exciting games in town. The Original Natural Gas Game Changer Over the…

Highlights from a workshop on the environmental and social implications of fracking. A group of the nation’s leading experts on energy and the environment are at Duke this week attending a workshop to try to ferret out the facts (and tamp down the hype) around shale gas and fracking, the controversial method for extracting natural…

When it comes to water from hydrofracking, the question of safety is murky at best. The Chemical Cocktail of Fracking Fluid For many folks the big baddie of hydraulic fracturing, also called hydrofracking or fracking, is fracking fluid — the mixture of water, sand, and chemicals that’s injected deep below the surface to fracture the…

Wanted: Natural gas industry volunteers. The job: Provide the data that will determine if your shale gas operations actually give off a lot more greenhouse gases than your industry “clean skies” image would suggest. That’s one of the main recommendations released this morning by a key U.S. advisory panel that the Obama administration established to…

One of the big debates in energy today is about the hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” of natural gas deposits. Various groups have already taken entrenched positions and the crossfire of arguments pro and con has begun. For the casual observer the arguments and facts must be confusing as they try to form their own informed…

I love this time of year. With another school year coming to an end, the new crop of interns has again arrived at the Pace Global. It is instructive to watch as they adapt their living habits and work behavior from the academic world to that of a bustling business office. For me, they provide…

A smoking gun in the form of methane isotopes links the two. Shale Gas: Game Changer or Potential Problem? The abundant, cleaner-burning fossil fuel known as shale gas has been hailed as a bridge fuel that’ll allow the transition from coal to a renewable-fueled future. Not only that, drilling for shale gas has propped up…

The Shale Quandary

Does the good outweigh the bad? The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s report on “Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2009” was officially released on March 31st. Two of its key conclusions: Total U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases were down by about 5.8 percent relative to 2008 — a…

For the past 35 years, the U.S. energy supply condition can be described as “precarious”, at best. But, over the past 5 years the Energy Sector in the US has been undergoing unprecedented change, spurred by a number of factors including a revolution in new energy technologies, rapid shifts in consumer attitudes, and the discovery…