Issue No. 1     February 1, 2013

Welcome to the Shale Gas Bulletin Ireland, a twice-monthly email bulletin designed to help Irish decision-makers and journalists stay informed about shale gas extraction. It is simply a selection of good links to information on shale gas extraction and its effects.

The SGBI is issued by Keep Ireland Fracking Free, a network of people who feel that Ireland's current guaranteed fracking free status is something to be celebrated and protected. This bulletin is in response to requests we have received for regular and easy-to-digest information.

We hope it is useful.

1. Fracking in the USA

Natural Gas Flow

The New York Times "Drilling Down" series is an excellent series of articles and interactive features, many of which allow access to data and documents that the New York Times obtained through open records requests and leaks. Highly recommended.

In particular, we recommend this article: Insiders Sound an Alarm Amid a Natural Gas Rush.

2. Shale gas speculative bubble?

Deborah Rogers is one of the industry experts mentioned in the NYT article above. A financial analyst and member of the advisory committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, she was among the first to raise questions about the economic viability of shale gas extraction.

In this presentation from May 2012 (36 minutes), Ms. Rogers discusses the difference between gas "resources" and "reserves", the ways that petroleum companies in the USA have exaggerated their reserves, and how encouraging investment in this sector serves the financial interests of Wall Street investment banks.

See also: Fracking - A Boom and Bust

3. Irish EPA public consultation for fracking study

Drilling stageProposed Terms of Reference for Research Programme on Environmental Impacts of Unconventional Gas Exploration & Extraction (UGEE)

Unconventional Gas Exploration and Extraction is an emerging issue in Ireland, in particular with regard to the use of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) technology (EPA press release). The EPA initially commissioned preliminary desk research which was published in May 2012.  A Steering Committee has developed proposed Terms of Reference for a more extensive programme of research and the EPA has now launched a public consultation on the draft Terms of Reference document on behalf of the steering committee.

Deadline for submissions is March 8th, 2013.

Good Energy Alliances Ireland (GEAI) have set up a forum for discussing the draft Terms of Reference published by the EPA, as a resource for those who wish to make submissions.