Shale Boom Doomed According to Bill McKibben’s Preferred Oil & Gas Industry Experts

Guest commentary by David Middleton

People send Charles things and they sometimes wind up in my inbox…

The Shale Boom Is About To Go Bust

by Tyler Durden
Fri, 05/10/2019

Authored by Nick Cunningham via,

The shale industry faces an uncertain future as drillers try to outrun the treadmill of precipitous well declines.

For years, companies have deployed an array of drilling techniques to extract more oil and gas out of their wells, steadily intensifying each stage of the operation. Longer laterals, more water, more frac sand, closer spacing of wells – pushing each of these to their limits, for the most part, led to more production. Higher output allowed the industry to outpace the infamous decline rates from shale wells.

That sounds impressive, but the industry may simply be frontloading production. The suite of drilling techniques “have lowered costs and allowed the resource to be extracted with fewer wells, but have not significantly increased the ultimate recoverable resource,” J. David Hughes, an earth scientist, and author of the Post Carbon report, warned. ..


Zero Hedge

What’s wrong with this article?

  1. Zero Hedge is slightly more reliable than Info Wars and Lew Rockwell.
  2. Nick Cunningham is probably the second least reliable Oil Price contributor, as it pertains to the oil & gas industry… Nick Cunningham is a freelance writer on oil and gas, renewable energy, climate change, energy policy and geopolitics.
  3. Founded in 2003, Post Carbon Institute’s mission is to lead the transition to a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable world by providing individuals and communities with the resources needed to understand and respond to the interrelated ecological, economic, energy, and equity crises of the 21st century.
  4. Post Carbon Institute is doing the most important work imaginable, and doing it well –Bill McKibben, Author, Founder of & PCI Fellow
  5. Who the hell is J. David Hughes?

I can’t find any meaningful information about J. David Hughes, apart from the assertion that he allegedly is an earth scientist and he clearly has been opposing and/or predicting the imminent doom of shale resource plays since 2008, the dawn of the “Shale Revolution”…

David Hughes is a geoscientist who has studied the energy resources of Canada for nearly four decades, including 32 years with the Geological Survey of Canada as a scientist and research manager. He developed a National Coal Inventory for Canada and coordinated a comprehensive assessment of Canada’s unconventional natural gas potential as Team Leader for Unconventional Gas on the Canadian Gas Potential Committee. In 2008, David founded Global Sustainability Research Inc., a consultancy dedicated to research on energy and sustainability issues. Clients have covered the ideological spectrum from multinational energy companies, including Imperial Oil and Forbes Energy Group, municipal governments, including the City of Edmonton, the Canadian Federal Government, including the Petroleum Resources Branch of Natural Resources Canada, and environmental groups, including ForestEthics. Over the past decade, he has researched, published and lectured widely on global energy and sustainability issues in North America and internationally. He is a board member of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas – Canada and is a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute. His work has been featured in the popular press, radio, television and other public media. He is a sought after speaker on global and North American energy issues, as well as on specific aspects of energy including shale gas, coalbed methane, LNG exports, pipeline infrastructure development, scaling issues with alternatives and considerations for long term energy security and sustainability. In recent years he has addressed nearly 200 venues on these issues ranging from municipal-, provincial/state- and Federal-governments, through scientific conferences, universities, environmental groups and industry associations.

Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers (PSE) for Healthy Energy

There are a lot of uncertainties in the oil & gas industry; however anytime an article asserts one of the following conclusions, or something to the effect thereof, there’s a 99.9% chance that the author knows nothing about the oil & gas industry:

  1. Shale is a panacea.
  2. Shale is a Ponzi scheme.

It’s neither. Next?

What’s that? I only impugned the source and didn’t address their arguments?

This is idiotic…

The suite of drilling techniques “have lowered costs and allowed the resource to be extracted with fewer wells, but have not significantly increased the ultimate recoverable resource,” J. David Hughes, an earth scientist, and author of the Post Carbon report, warned.

“The suite of drilling techniques” have vastly increased the ultimate recoverable resource, by bringing the source rocks and other impermeable reservoirs into the ultimate recoverable resource.

This wouldn’t have happened without “the suite of drilling techniques”…

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced the Wolfcamp Shale and overlying Bone Spring Formation in the Delaware Basin portion of Texas and New Mexico’s Permian Basin province contain an estimated mean of 46.3 billion barrels of oil, 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, according to an assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). This estimate is for continuous (unconventional) oil, and consists of undiscoveredtechnically recoverable resources.

“Christmas came a few weeks early this year,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “American strength flows from American energy, and as it turns out, we have a lot of American energy. Before this assessment came down, I was bullish on oil and gas production in the United States. Now, I know for a fact that American energy dominance is within our grasp as a nation.”

“In the 1980’s, during my time in the petroleum industry, the Permian and similar mature basins were not considered viable for producing large new recoverable resources. Today, thanks to advances in technology, the Permian Basin continues to impress in terms of resource potential. The results of this most recent assessment and that of the Wolfcamp Formation in the Midland Basin in 2016 are our largest continuous oil and gas assessments ever released,” said Dr. Jim Reilly, USGS Director. “Knowing where these resources are located and how much exists is crucial to ensuring both our energy independence and energy dominance.”    




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May 11, 2019 8:50 pm

Intellectual honesty was the first casualty in the war against climate change.

Reply to  WR2
May 11, 2019 9:51 pm

And increasingly they are no longer calling it “climate change”. It’s now Climate Emergency, or the even newer term “Extinction Emergency”.

Reply to  ggm
May 11, 2019 10:07 pm

Good. It was always a publicity problem replying to claims of “climate change” because anyone who says yes will be taken as agreeing with the deranged theory, and anyone who says no will be written off as an idiot because obviously climate changes. With “… Emergency” we can simply say “No, you’re crazy.”

Their latest propaganda move is a clear example of “A bridge too far”.

dodgy geezer
Reply to  Ron House
May 12, 2019 1:24 am

I have a good example of this. Asked if ‘climate change’ is the biggest problem facing the world today I have to agree that it is.

But that doesn’t mean that I think damaging climate change is happening. It means that I think the mad panic to destroy our civilisation for no good reason is the huge danger…

Reply to  dodgy geezer
May 12, 2019 8:52 am

I would say that climate change is our biggest problem. When those glaciers start advancing we are going to have to do something about it.
Of course they probably won’t start advancing for a few thousand years, so I’m not cancelling my nap over it.

Reply to  Ron House
May 12, 2019 9:50 am

Someone please ask those strange people why I’m still running my furnace in mid-May, just to keep the house warm enough to be habitable. I’m waiting to see if it snows this month. Anything is possible these days., but I”m not real keen on seeing my heating bill extend into the month of summer like it did LAST YEAR.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Sara
May 12, 2019 12:08 pm

Dear Sara, don’t forget that the longest day is only 5 weeks away and then we start descending again. If we don’t start putting more heat into the ground very soon, we could be closer to another “year without a summer”!

Richard Patton
Reply to  Sara
May 12, 2019 4:49 pm


don’t forget that the longest day is only 5 weeks away and then we start descending again

Please don’t remind me! I don’t need any more depressing news!

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Sara
May 19, 2019 1:44 am

Snow Forecasts for 425 Austrian Ski Areas – 18 May 2019 | J2Ski › Austria

Snow is next forecast to fall in Austria on Saturday 18th May 2019, in at least 28 Ski Resorts including Bad Gastein, Ischgl, Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, St. Anton am Arlberg and Sölden. … The deepest reported snow in Austria is in Stubai, which reports snow depths of 660cm260in on upper …

Bill Powers
Reply to  ggm
May 12, 2019 10:01 am

Or Global extinction ggm. Hobgoblins all, and the writers imply that the government can save us from ourselves without being able to explain how, exactly, the government is going to control global temperatures.

Let us use an analogy to illustrate. Since no one has been able to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that a small herd of Elephants will soon wipe out the planet (never mind they took a secret vote and an overwhelming majority of 97% agrees on this issue. Don’t ask what 97%. It was a secret ballot) these so called “experts” calling for government intervention, want us to believe that if we combine efforts to spread the newspapers over enough surface area we will keep the dreaded elephants away. What’s that you say there are no elephants around you? Well, see there! Its working!! Moral of the story the government can save you from anything that threatens you. Well, aside from totalitarian dictatorship

Reply to  Bill Powers
May 12, 2019 5:52 pm

You found a use for the NYT!

Reply to  WR2
May 12, 2019 5:01 am

“In recent years he has addressed nearly 200 venues on these issues.”

Big deal; so has Big Albert G.

Reply to  Dipchip
May 12, 2019 5:46 am

Does boring some random stranger in a bar count as one of the venues he has addressed?

R Shearer
Reply to  Dipchip
May 12, 2019 5:50 am

“Hello Mr. Toilet, I shall address you in this venue.”

May 11, 2019 8:59 pm

It’s just another attack on the energy industry people who are likely being paid by one of the big foundations such as the Rockefeller foundation, Oak foundation or one of a host of others. These big foundations launder money that comes from the wind and solar scams, or Russia and OPEC, then distribute it to the eco terrorist outfits to block pipelines, drilling and oilsands operations. Or fund politicians who will fight against the energy industry. They poured millions into the last Canadian federal election to get Trudeau elected. They poured money into the last couple of BC provincial elections and were funding both sides. They were funding the mayor of Vancouver to get him elected so he could oppose pipelines. Tom Steyer was, and likely still is funding Indian tribes in BC to block pipelines. It’s a long list of corruption.

Reply to  Rob
May 11, 2019 9:16 pm

It’s Terrorism. That’s all … Terrorism. As surely as any Taliban hit squad gathers bomb-making materials, assembles those materials, and detonates those materials. In order to KILL. In order to spread FEAR and TERROR.

Some people are born to BUILD, and CREATE useful things for humanity. Others … to destroy. And then to FORCE a belief-system upon their victims.

May 11, 2019 9:01 pm

What does the EIA state that America has for natural gas reserves? What I read was 80 years based upon 2017 consumption. That is nothing, if that is true. If it is true we have to stop converting coal power plants to natural gas. America has in the ground over 600 years of good quality coal.
If Americans want to continue to turn on their light switches and charge their EV vehicles, we need to get back to a Clean Coal Solution and ensuring America uses it’s energy sources wisely.

Chad Irby
Reply to  Sid Abma
May 12, 2019 3:30 am

We have eighty years of “proven reserves.”

Which means we have eighty years of reserves that we can extract that we know about and can recover at over a 90% probability.

Unproven reserves? Yeah, we have a MASSIVE amount of those. “Unproven” includes anything we know about or think we know about, along with the ones we don’t know about, that may or may not actually be economically recoverable with current tech. Just remember that, up until just a few years ago, most of what we’re now extracting in the “shale boom” was “unproven.”

The US has almost exactly the same amount of proven reserves right now as we did fifty years ago.

Reply to  Chad Irby
May 12, 2019 8:54 am

Those reserves also depend on the current price of natural gas. If the price goes up, so do the reserves.

Stephen Rasey
Reply to  Chad Irby
May 12, 2019 2:45 pm

Unproven reserves — is really limited to “Probable Reserves” (about 50-90% confident they exist at current prices in known accumulations, and “Possible Reserves” (between 10% and 50% confident in known accumulations).

Beyond that they are Exploratory Potential and Estimated Undiscovered, but recoverable RESOURCES.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Sid Abma
May 12, 2019 6:58 am

Natural gas is so plentiful and cheap in the USA right now that petroleum geologists are not exploring for it. New sources continue to be produced as a byproduct of crude oil and in the Permian Basin the price for natural gas has gone negative several times, where the operator must pay the pipeline to take it.

Despite the low price, leading to little exploration for gas, and the massive increase in gas-fired power plants causing a surge in consumption, the proven reserves of natural gas continue to increase.

Bill Treuren
May 11, 2019 9:04 pm

The issue is all about economic’s.

At US$30/bbl there are literally no material reserves, at US$150/bbl there a very large amounts of shale reserves. (and others for that matter)
actually that is less than a $1/litre even at at the higher number. (plus refining and tax’s as usual)

What I say to my Range Rover driving friends is that even fuel at NZ$3/litre which is the likely outcome there will be no queue’s at crushing machines.

Oil is range bound with supply disruption bumps and hollows.

May 11, 2019 9:54 pm

J. David Hughes has been writing about shale oil for 10 years. That is, he has been confidently wrong for ten years. For example —

“Natural Gas in North America: A Panacea to Replace Imported Oil?“ at the Global Sustainability Research, 14 September 2009. Mercifully, it is no longer on the internet.

Joe B
Reply to  Larry Kummer
May 12, 2019 11:37 am

Hughes is far worse than being a mere incompetent.
He is a complete, knowing fraud through and through.

I have gone over several of his ‘works’ over the years such as ‘Drilling Deeper’ and ‘Shale Reality Check’.
Anyone willing to spend even few minutes looking at his charts would bust out laughing at the scale of his inaccuracies.

He completely dismissed the Permian’s potential by stating that it has been drilled for decades.
When the Utica Playbook study was released by the West Virginia University led consortium claiming near Marcellus potential, clown Hughes put out a one page disclaimer dismissing the years’ long efforts by numerous research groups.

The only thing larger than this idiot’s ego is the size and scope of his incorrect track record.

May 11, 2019 10:29 pm

Ooh, Hughes is a “geoscientist”. How impressive. That’s akin to “social scientist”. Sad!

May 11, 2019 10:30 pm

Surely “drillers try to outrun the treadmill of precipitous well declines” means that oil prices will rise and more wells will be drilled to keep production up?

R Shearer
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2019 5:53 am

Same with mugs of beer.

Reply to  R Shearer
May 12, 2019 12:16 pm

Bingo. Said in plain, easy to understand terms, Mr. Shearer.

May 11, 2019 11:06 pm

Few people realize how huge that USGS assessment is. In 2008 the USGS did a similar assessment of the Bakken formation in ND, MT and Canada. Their estimate was 3.65 billion barrels of oil. The Bakken in just ND has already produced 3 billion barrels since then. Current oil production in ND is well over 1 million barrels per day. Three weeks ago a well was reported that had an initial production (24 hour flow) of 10,626 barrels of oil. That one will pay for itself in less than six months.
The drilling technology and efficiency today is astonishing. They can drill down vertically 7000 feet and then horizontally another 10,000 feet in just 14 days. I remember back in the 1950s it would take a whole year to drill a vertical hole down 13,000 feet. By the way, they were fracking back then and have been doing it ever since.

Joe B
Reply to  Jerry
May 12, 2019 11:48 am

In addition to drilling advances, the completion side is seeing even more innovation.
The latest thrust is to maintain a working fluid pressure between 1,500 to 2,000 psi from the wellbore to the ever expanding fracture tip.

This (called Extreme Limited Entry perforation) is accomplished with cyclical pump rates, diverters, micro proppants, and seismic monitoring.

Bakken primary recovery rate is now approaching 20% which – amongst other consequences – is greatly expanding the productive footprint in the Basin.

Liberty Resources is leading the charge in these efforts.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Joe B
May 23, 2019 6:42 am

“Extreme Limited Entry perforation”

Hey! No means no!

May 11, 2019 11:39 pm

I can’t find any meaningful information about J. David Hughes

John David Hughes cv is here:

First Class Honours Bachelor of Science in Geology, 1972, University of Alberta
Master of Science in Geology, 1975, University of Alberta

2008-present: President, Global Sustainability Research Inc.
1976-2008: Scientist and Research Manager, Geological Survey of Canada, Department of Natural Resources, Government of Canada

Some articles:

He seems to have been quite pragmatic until 2008 when he funded Global Sustainability Research.

Maybe he had an Epiphany, maybe he just spotted a chance to make some decent money by founding a consultancy.

[Formatting fixed. Hopefully this time. Mod]

Reply to  MangoChutney
May 12, 2019 12:01 am

Damn, I screwed that up!

Reply to  MangoChutney
May 12, 2019 1:31 am

Are you by chance acquainted with PankoCrustedChicken?

David Wright
May 12, 2019 1:22 am

We’ll never run out of oil until one day we’ve run out of oil. Wind farms and solar panels are not the answer. Imagine if nuclear tech. had made the same incremental improvements as shale drillers…we’d be rolling in clover by now. Unfortunately the dead hand of government and the green fascists have got in the way. Invest in nuclear now.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  David Wright
May 12, 2019 7:19 am

We will never run out of oil. Period. The decline will have a limiting asymptote of “run out of oil”; we may stop using oil with some of the resource still in place.

Reply to  David Wright
May 12, 2019 9:01 am

We’ve gone from 1st generation reactors to 3rd and 4th generation reactors. I wouldn’t say that nuclear power tech has been standing still.

Bruce Cobb
May 12, 2019 4:06 am

It’s Peter Pan “thinking” on their part. If they wish for it to be true hard enough, then, in the Klimate Koolade-fevered brains of Greenies, they believe it will happen. They have a fake “problem”, and a fake “solution” to the “problem”.

May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Although there is much hype concerning horizontal “shale” drilling a few facts are undeniable.
1) The purpose of horizontal drilling is the save the expenses of drilling vertical wells. If a 30 stage hydraulic fracture is performed then it saves the cost of drilling 30 vertical wells.
2) A molecule of gas can be desorbed from a shale matrix, but a molecule of oil cannot flow our of a shale matrix in less than geologic time. Most oil attributed to shale actually comes from hydraulic fracturing into the conventional reservoir rocks above and/or below the “shale”.
3) The formations being drilled in the Permian are not shales-the Wolfcamp & Bone Springs are carbonates and the Spraberry is a silty sand.
4) The massive activity is more of a function is access to capital that was historically not available to the oil industry because of the potential for 100% loss,i.e. “a dry hole”. Horizontal drilling in known oil saturated low permeability reservoirs for the first time since Drake assures no “dry holes”.
5) Ultimately, the problem with horizontal shales will be the ability to “pump off’ at the horizontal to produce the oil. There is not a pump that can operate efficiently in a deviated hole.

Robert of Texas
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2019 9:10 am

The Permian basins are a complex mixture of layers of rock. There is shale, sandstone, and limestone, along with silt, sand, and probably other layers. But my understanding is that the primary fossil fuels are recovered from deep shale.

Anyway, here is the best reference I found to the geology of the Permian (from 2012):

“Current drilling and production are focused on the 1000-ft-thick, oil-rich, unconventional Wolfcamp shale”

ian h.
May 12, 2019 6:29 am

Time will tell , but the oil shale industry has bonds/debts of over 300billion USD. We capitalists like free cash flow, and there hasnt been a lot of that in US oil shale, ever. Lots of people, some republican with a lifetime invested in the US oil business (Mike Shellman,&Art Berman for example) go into this in detail on their blogs. The big winners in shale are the WallStreet people who sell the deals and the C suite company management (and the world’s oil consumers). The article cited just says that more propant per foot and longer horizontals on tighter spacings may not be more profitable over the total acreage lifetime, and echoes what some service providers are reporting. If the futures strip for WTI were 100USD out into the next decade it would be a different matter, as it is there’s a wall of bonds going to need rolling over in the next couple of years. If the industry is so profitable where did all the free cashflow go?. This isnt about polar bears its about economics.

May 12, 2019 7:24 am

The only long term solution to the worlds energy needs is Nuclear. Question that? Then ask God. He created the energy source that is responsible for all the non nuclear energy we have. Yes the sun and the stars…..

Reply to  Sam
May 12, 2019 4:43 pm

The Sun and stars are not nuclear , they are electrical..

Robert W. Turner
May 12, 2019 7:43 am

Horizontal wells also greatly increase the connectivity of compartmentalized reservoirs and some of the reservoirs being produced simply weren’t technically possible with vertical wells.
Do you have a source for #2? A mature source rock in the oil and gas window is continuously creating oil and gas, this process overpressures the source rock and hydrocarbons naturally migrate out into lower pressure formations. Not as fast as can be produced but certainly doesn’t take geologic time for a drop of oil to migrate out of a source rock.
The Wolfcamp Fm. is black shales interbedded with argillaceous dolomite and siltstones – hardly a carbonate.
The lack of dry holes has little to do with investment, in the end it’s all about RoI.
Producing long laterals has progressed by leaps and bounds since 2014 and continue to improve.

Mike Borgelt
May 12, 2019 8:01 am

Middleton, you did not address the key problem which is that shale well decline can only be alleviated by more drilling. Eventually, they will not be able to drill fast enough to keep up.

Mike Borgelt
Reply to  Mike Borgelt
May 12, 2019 8:51 am

AKA “The Red Queen” problem

R Shearer
Reply to  Mike Borgelt
May 12, 2019 5:19 pm

Fiction, the Red Queen is. In general, as technology improves, we can move faster and faster.

John Endicott
Reply to  Mike Borgelt
May 13, 2019 6:36 am

Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’

I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.


Keep believing in impossible things Mike.

Mike Borgelt
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2019 10:16 am

So, then since you acknowledge the “Red Queen” phenomena, what happens when the rate of depletion is greater than the rate of production from new wells?

Mike Borgelt
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2019 11:32 am

You haven’t addressed the issue of the “Red Queen” phenomena that plagues shale plays.

Joe B
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2019 12:01 pm

You folks may want to take a glance at Whiting’s recent investor presentation where – on slides #s 18/19/20 – the production profile graphically shows an INCREASE in the parent well output when offsets are frac’d/brought online.
The Whiting suits describe this as ‘parent well uplift’.

This has been noted for years in the Bakken with virtually no public acknowledgement. (Bruce Oksol’s Themilliondollarway blog has been describing this for years as the ‘halo effect’).

Primary recovery factors continue to increase and expand the productive acreage significantly.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2019 1:52 pm

It really is fascinating how trolls latch onto minor pieces of data as if they were nobel worthy nuggets.
I guess it’s easier than actually thinking for yourself.

Mike Borgelt
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2019 2:00 pm

Be my guest Middleton, and “shred” what investors know about shale plays.

Reply to  Mike Borgelt
May 12, 2019 1:54 pm

On another thread, this particular troll informed us that weather forecasts are so accurate that wind turbine operators can tell exactly how much power their turbines are going to be putting out, minute by minute 3 days out.

Mike Borgelt
Reply to  MarkW
May 12, 2019 5:36 pm

MarkW, I suggest you re-read the link I posted from ERCOT about weather forecasting and wind farm operations.
Obviously you did not read it based on what you’ve posted.

Mike Borgelt
Reply to  MarkW
May 12, 2019 5:39 pm

MarkW is clueless about wind farm operations. Their output doesn’t vary “minute by minute.”

Reply to  Mike Borgelt
May 12, 2019 1:51 pm

You say that as if you’ve said something intelligent or profound.
Of course the field will eventually run out, in this case “eventually” is far enough in the future that you don’t need to worry your pretty little head over it.

May 12, 2019 8:13 am

Peak Oil in a new dress.

R Shearer
Reply to  LarryD
May 12, 2019 5:13 pm

You’re right. The fictional Red Queen wears a black dress because peak oil died. In actuality, drillers, unlike Alice, are getting smarter and are not under the spell of the Red Queen.

Reply to  R Shearer
May 13, 2019 11:07 am

Off w/their well-heads!

May 12, 2019 8:33 am

I made a lot of money in the 90’s and 00’s because all the experts were saying we would soon deplete all fossil fuel reserves (oil and NG)! Didn’t happen but those doom sayers drove up oil and NG prices and drillers made large fortunes! Yogi Berra said it best about predicting the future! Its tough to do! The earth is a treasure trove of natural resources! I’m confident that I will be dead and buried for decades before fossil fuels are depleted to point where they will finally be replaced by solar and wind! Only real threat to fossil fuels, beside AGW crackpots, is thermonuclear fusion reactors! In late 60’s, we thought that was only 10-20 years away! I think we’re still 30-40 years away from wide spread use of that energy source! Don’t think we’ll ever run out of self serving crack pots!

Reply to  Bill
May 12, 2019 6:12 pm

Even then, I doubt they will be fully replaced by the so-called renewables. When fossil fuel sources become much more valuable as petrochemical feedstocks, we’ll eventually see a shift to the nearly non-polluting nuclear power sources. The really nice thing about Nuclear is that it scales quite well to very large generating systems.

When our elites are faced with the problem of themselves having to use candles for both heat and light, they’ll decide that nuclear power isn’t such a bad thing after all.

May 12, 2019 8:33 am

There is really no point to getting into these silly arguments over “peak oil” which is all this dude is basically saying .. i.e., that by “front end loading” we merely hasten the days of peak oil.

Let’s put it this way, whenever oil production actually peaks out, and then does not return again to another peak – as it always has as exploration, discovery, and recovery have cycled many times over the last century and a half – then the anti-oil and gas people will be able to celebrate ever higher oil and gas prices, which will bring about their ever desired alternate energy universe, whatever that will consist of.

If the days of peak oil do not arrive in any of our lifetimes, then we’ll continue to enjoy low oil gas prices and wide availability, and peak oil will be moot.

Peak oil will be whenever it will be, and all the arguing now over its forecast arrival date won’t make a damned bit of difference, will it?

Today oil and gas is cheap and widely available. We will continue refining alternative energy sources over the coming decades, be that nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, whatever .. and whenever the financial incentives make it worthwhile to switch to the latter, we will. No government will have to mandate that result – economics and human self interest will always prevail.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Duane
May 12, 2019 2:20 pm

There will always be methane. With that we can synthesize virtually any fuel. A viable source will be methyl clathrates, which when we develop the technology, we’ll mine the ocean bottoms, where there is an inexhaustible supply.

Robert of Texas
May 12, 2019 8:44 am

“J. David Hughes” – research fellow at the Post Carbon Institute; Global Sustainability Research Inc

OK, so “Post Carbon” and “Sustainability” are both keywords for identifying a Green Energy Activist. Green Energy Activist means they spout endless nonsense for their religious belief. Part of this canon is that fossil fuel is evil, and must die. So looking for any logic in his statements is going to be a waste of time.

The “Shale Boom” will be directly linked to two factors: The price of Oil and the Cost of Mining the Shale Oil. Both will change over time. The price of oil will go up if demand is higher than production, therefore making more oil economically recoverable. The cost of mining will go down as technology continues to advance, but can also go up if resources required for mining become more expensive (man power, steel, etc) or especially regulations are increased. In any case, it won’t be how much oil is left in the ground that slows down fracking, it will be price of oil, cost of drilling, and regulations due to politics. They can draw all the peak oil curves they want.

We haven’t even touched the biggest deposit of oil in the U.S. due to no one knows how to economically mine it – the Green River Shale formation. Eventually someone will figure out how to mine this formation – Some 3 Trillion barrels of oil (estimated) lying in the ground.

Bob Hoye
May 12, 2019 9:06 am

Good shot against Lew Rockwell–the Mises crowd only know what Mises or Rothbard thought.
On the technological revolution in oil and gas production, similar in hard-rock geology goes away back.
Mining low-grade base metal deposits can be said to have started with Bingham Canyon in 1910.
Near Salt Lake City, I had the good fortune to have discovered deep-powder skiing at Alta. That was in the late 1960s and in taking a day off from skiing went to see Bingham. It was a huge hole in the ground–amazing.
And it is still operating.
The next example was the ability to mine lower-grade gold deposits as represented by “Carlin” in Nevada.

May 12, 2019 9:38 am

The ‘Hedge’ is primarily aimed at the day trader community, and as such carries articles that may or may not signal profit opportunities. But thats pretty boring stuff, so over the last few years the volume of froth, anti Elon, anti SJW, mainly conservative viewpoints and such has increased. Clearly increasing the froth attracts more clicks and therefore ad revenue. Also given its viewpoints on events concerning Russia, I’d not be surprised if it was not at least in part FSB funded.

Having said all that, I’d still recommend a daily visit there with ones morning coffee. For anybody with a functioning critical thinking chip (everybody who reads WUWT right ?) you’ll be guaranteed a smile to start the day, be filled with wonder at Musks latest idiocy, and may even see something valid 🙂

Danley Wolfe
May 12, 2019 10:32 am

I welcome far left radicals like Bill McKibben to the discussion of climate change. And congress persons such as Markey, Whitehouse, AOC whatever her name is … they do not debate on facts, it’s always on alarmism, the 97% consensus etc. … empty talk. McKibben background is Harvard Journalism, first job was as a staff writer for The New Yorker… Get them into a discussion on the facts … meaning demonstrable scientific evidence … the latter does not include millennial scale model predictions … models which are deterministic having “asssumed” independent variables but missing really important ones such as solar variability, particulates and others. That is pseudoscience.

May 12, 2019 3:16 pm

Well Dave, it’s my fault again that you had to deal with another one of these articles of misinformation. I’m a retired geophysicist that got vectored into the defense industry, so instead of looking for oil I ended up looking for Russian submarines… We are not going to run out of liquid fuels, when there’s no more oil based stuff we’ll come with something else. I read that someone is stealing the used fry oil from fast food restaurant’s dumpsters to make biodiesel .

May 12, 2019 5:54 pm

I stopped reading this as a serious piece when I saw the byline… “Tyler Durden”

If you want your daily dose of gloom and doom head on over to ZeroHedge.Com, and you will find it there, mostly posted by the pseudonymous Tyler Durden.

ZeroHedge does occasionally get some things right, and they are a good place to find thoughts outside mainstream channels. Still, glean from their articles what you can, and take the entire lot with a truckoad of salt.

May 13, 2019 11:04 am

Like the betting markets, it is sometime useful to follow the money. The sum of the high bids of an onshore lease sale for oil and gas development on public lands yielded nearly $1 billion, an unprecedented number for an onshore round. Investors often do a lot of dumb things, but they only spend this kind of money when they are fairly sure they will get a return…

From Western Wire (Dec 201*)
An oversized check for nearly half a billion dollars was presented to the State of New Mexico on Tuesday as the Bureau of Land Management acknowledged the portion of September oil and gas lease sales that would head to the state after a record-breaking $972.5 million dollar 3rd quarter sale in September.

The check, for $486,000,000, represents the portion the state receives from federal oil and gas lease sales. In total, the New Mexico has received revenues exceeding $1 billion in 2018 from BLM’s mandated quarterly lease sales.

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