November 22, 2017

The Shale Gale is a Retirement Party

So concludes an expert analyst of the natural gas boom. Brace for bust.
By Andrew Nikiforuk, TheTyee.ca, March 27, 2013

Every day a government agency or industry group in North America still hails natural gas mined from deep shale rock formations as “the bridging fuel” that will power a brighter if not cleaner energy tomorrow. Cheap natural gas, goes the mantra, will solve our energy woes and build a new energy foundation.

But that’s not Arthur Berman’s take. The oil patch consultant sees the shale gas frenzy as “magical thinking” as well as a full-blown commercial failure. In fact, the 62-year-old Houston-based petroleum geologist doesn’t view natural gas as “a bridge to anywhere.”

What others call the “shale gas revolution,” he rudely describes as an “industry retirement party.”

“The transition we’re in now is one from energy abundance to scarcity. I know it doesn’t play well. But right now we don’t have a bridge to anything. We have a bridge to nowhere and we don’t know where the future is.”

“Shale gas is a retirement party because we now have to live on what we have left,” he explains.

“We have reached the bottom of the resource pyramid. All the good resources are gone. So, like a reluctant retiree, we try to convince ourselves that the best is in front of us but we know it is really not. We will have a nice retirement party — these are usually awkward events — and in coming days will resign ourselves to the hard truth.”

Read the full article.