Gasland as black PR: A Polish View

Pawel Proporwa of the Polish Geological Institute speaks to Newsweek’s Polish version on shale. Pawel is sometimes frustratingly scientific as all geologists are until they they actually hear the rocks talking much louder. In his position, it’s hard to see how he would benefit from pushing shale, and the tone is very measured and cautious in talking about resources. But when the subject of Gasland comes up he fights back.This is the first time that I’ve seen a rational scientific discussion of Gasland by a neutral, non-US  scientist.

Film „Gasland” jest takim łupkowym „Pancernikiem Potiomkinem” i wśród osób zajmujących się tym zagadnieniem wzbudza raczej zażenowanie. Obraz jest
stworzony przez artystę bez wsparcia eksperckiego i tworzy ideologicznie zaangażowany, emocjonalny przekaz, bazujący na schematach teorii spiskowych. Jest w nim szereg elementów nie tyle nierzetelnych co wręcz zmanipulowanych.

The film “Gasland” is a shale “Battleship Potemkin, ” and among those dealing with this issue raises some rather embarrassing. The image is created by the artist without the support of an expert and creates an ideologically involved, the emotional message, based on conspiracy theories. It contains a number of elements, not so much unreliable as even manipulated.

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What we could give up in Natural Gas Transportation

Given that there are no ideal energy alternatives, it’s frustrating trying to have a debate with the Josh Fox’s of the world, who either don’t show up at all or simply start from a point that natural gas use is inherently dangerous now and forever. The concept of continuous improvement in shale extraction, or perhaps the very idea of achievable progress in a multitude of areas, sometimes seems alien to the leave it in the grounders. 

The anti-frackers have yet to publish exactly what they stand for, instead of shouting about what they don’t want.  Leaving aside any benefit of low cost/low carbon gas in generation or home heating, a key area of interest to people these days is the price of gasoline, petrol or diesel.

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Peter Tertzakian on shale

Alberta’s Peter Tertzakian is an energy guru of long standing who has been consistently ahead of the curve on shale. Always worth listening to, this is his take on the EIA global figures of earlier this month:

Of late, the conference circuit is signaling a new megatrend: international shale gas. Invitations to attend events in Europe, Asia, Australia, and just about anywhere except price-depressed North America, are popping up in email inboxes. Those in the natural gas business have surmised that the shale revolution would eventually proliferate around the globe; now it’s starting to happen. And if North America is even a small proxy for the rest of the world, the implications will be quite profound.

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The era of cheap and abundant natural gas has begun.

From the Detroit News:

In the energy sector these days, with oil prices hovering at more than $100 a barrel and gasoline at $4 a gallon in Michigan, good news is the exception. Yet the success of horizontal hydraulic fracturing of shale gas and the profound importance of natural gas on America’s energy future can’t be minimized any longer.
Simply put, the era of cheap and abundant natural gas has begun.

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Shale Gas’s WOW! moment USA version

This one is a month ahead of what we expected. In June 2009 the US Potential Gas Committee highlighted the sudden emergence of US shale gas to the world and No Hot Air reported it to a Europe convinced they were running out of gas:

The report by the Potential Gas Committee, the authority on gas supplies, shows the United States holds far larger reserves than previously thought. The jump is the largest increase in the 44-year history of reports from the committee.

The finding raises the possibility that natural gas could emerge as a critical transition fuel that could help to battle global warming. For a given amount of heat energy, burning gas produces about half as much carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming, as burning coal.

The report is meant to be biennial, but has shown up a month early. From April 2011 report of the Potential Gas Committee:


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Gasland 2 (!)

Next time someone talks about how well funded the gas industry publicity machine is (does this look well funded to you?),  consider this email from  Josh Fox and pals

We’re excited to be pushing forward and continuing this important work.  GASLAND 2 is now in production, and Josh is off again, traveling the country and capturing the truth of what’s really going on with unconventional shale gas drilling and seeking out sustainable alternatives.  Help us continue this important work and consider making a DONATION to GASLAND here.

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Glowing green support for anti-gas greens.

They say that politics makes for strange bedfellows. Energy politics makes for very strange ones.

One of my self-taught rules about journalism is that the interesting stuff is below the headlines.  This story out of Northwestern Univeristiy in Chicago on how shale gas is making nuclear uneconomic is pretty old hat to readers here.  I’ve reported on the main thrust of this article 11 months ago.  First, today’s headline or last year’s news take your pick.

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Some light relief…

One wouldn’t normally associate the Iranian Press with laugh out loud, but this bizarre article from the Tehran Times is unintentionally hilarious.  I hope something was lost in the translation, otherwise we’re in trouble:

TEHRAN — Iran is the safest source for supplying Europe with gas, the director of Austrian oil and gas giant OMV said on Sunday.

The Mehr News Agency quoted Thomas McCulloch as saying that Iran has the world’s second largest natural gas reserves and it is not a correct decision to omit the country from Nabucco project.

McCulloch previously had expressed that his country is interested in joining Iran oil and gas ventures.

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Shale Gas from Hero to Zero says Gazprom

They say you know people by their enemies and this recent clip from Russia Today shows that Gazprom are very glad to see the recent problems of shale, while still clinging on to the 2008 conventional wisdom of shale as very expensive to produce:

The shale revolution stemmed from high gas prices,” said Konstantin Simonov, director of the National Energy Security Fund. “The main question right now is how will the shale gas industry survive now that gas prices are $100-150, which is one quarter what they were in 2005, when shale development began?”

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