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Issue No. 4 - March 15, 2013

1. "Shale Gas Revolution" not up to the hype

In his December 2011 report "What the Frack?" Chris Nelder, an energy analyst and consultant for business and government, is asking: "Is there really 100 years’ worth of natural gas beneath the United States?" His answer is a clear "No".

This analysis has now been confirmed by a major new study, "Drill Baby Drill: Can Unconventional Fuels Usher in a New Era of Energy Abundance?" (note: large file), which comes to the conclusion that unconventional fuel production is likely to reach its peak as early as 2017.

The report's author, J. David Hughes, is a Canadian geoscientist who worked for 32 years with the Geological Survey of Canada as a scientist and research manager. He is currently president of Global Sustainability Research Inc., a consultancy dedicated to research on energy and sustainability issues.

"Fracked Gas Won't Solve Energy Crunch"  discusses the Hughes report's findings.

The data for this report and for the report by
Deborah Rogers, featured below, are available at

2. Here we go again?

Shale & Wall Street: Was the Decline in Natural Gas Prices Orchestrated?

Deborah Rogers (see SGBI Issue No. 1) has published a new report, Shale and Wall Street: Was the Decline in Natural Gas Prices Orchestrated?, examining the role large Wall Street investment banks have played in the shale gas boom/bust.

The report identifies similarities between the financial dealings that led to the mortgage crisis and those that have contributed to the rise and fall of shale gas and oil production in the USA.

In particular, it explains how unprofitable shale oil and gas assets are now being bundled and sold to unsuspecting investors using financial instruments that resemble credit default swaps.

The report highlights the poor economic performance of shale gas and oil in the USA, which is due to the extremely poor productivity and high costs of unconventional shale gas exploitation. It provides details of the heavy financial losses being suffered by even the most prominent companies, now that actual production figures are available to investors.

The report's Appendix shows that median incomes and retail sales in areas of intensive shale gas production remain below the respective state averages.

More analyses also => Fracking - A Boom and Bust

3. NY State and Ireland: Fracking Free - For Now
Call for a Comprehensive Health Impact Assessment
There are a number of similarities between New York State and Ireland:
  • New York State has a large Irish population. So does Ireland...although maybe not quite as large.
  • New York has a vibrant and growing movement to keep the state fracking free. So does Ireland.
  • New York's health professionals have expressed concern about fracking.
  • So have Ireland's.
  • The New York State Assembly recently voted a moratorium on shale gas exploitation in the state.

    Similarly, Ireland's Minister Fergus O'Dowd recently declared that the DCENR will not consider granting exploration licenses until the EPA study has been published.

"Fracking Free - For Now"...

Granted, it is better than "Fracked". But not nearly as nice as "Guaranteed Fracking Free"...

Issue No. 3     March 1, 2013

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