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Old 11-23-2012, 01:11 PM  
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Fracking to lead to a new golden age?

Dunno if this should be in DC or not, but it seems more societal than political. I thought it was interesting and had no idea that fracking would have that big an impact.

I added the bold formatting in places because doing so will draw your attention to it since I think it's interesting.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/23/busine...html?hpt=hp_c1

U.S. set for fracking bonanza, says historian Ferguson
By Andrew Stevens, CNN
updated 12:30 PM EST, Fri November 23, 2012

Hong Kong (CNN) -- If there's been one consistent thread running through the U.S. economic story since 2008, it's been the steady drumbeat of gloom.
Outright recession or sub-standard growth, stubbornly high unemployment and fiscal crises have been the topics du jour when it comes to the world's biggest economy.

But now an unlikely champion for U.S. growth under the Obama administration has emerged -- a former adviser to a Republican Party presidential candidate and Harvard history professor, Niall Ferguson, who says America could actually be heading toward a new economic "golden age."

And it has nothing to do with Washington and everything to do with energy.

Ferguson, who is also an author and commentator, believes the production of natural gas and oil from shale formations via a process known as "fracking" -- forcing open rocks by injecting fluid into cracks -- will be a game changer.

"This is an absolutely huge phenomenon with massive implications for the U.S. economy, and I think most people are still a little bit slow to appreciate just how big this is," he said in Hong Kong this week.

"Conceivably it does mean a new golden age."

U.S. energy production has been booming in recent years. The International Energy Agency made a jaw-dropping forecast two weeks ago that the U.S. would pass Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest oil producer by the end of this decade -- and would achieve near energy independence by the 2030s.


That energy boom, asserts Ferguson, will create jobs in the United States.

Lots of jobs.

The energy sector currently supports 1.7 million American jobs directly or indirectly, according to economic forecaster IHS global Insight. That could rise to 3 million by 2020, it says.

"It's not only in the extraction industry and infrastructure, but more importantly cheap energy is going to create employment in manufacturing. I think you'll see a renaissance in manufacturing," said Ferguson.

"That is being helped by the fact U.S. labor costs have been pretty competitive over the past decade, even as labor costs are going up in China."

It is also, he says, a big deal for the dollar. "As the U.S. moves towards energy independence and becoming the biggest producer in the world, the dollar can only benefit. Anybody who thought the financial crisis was going to lead to the demise of the dollar as an international currency is wrong -- it's quite the opposite."

And what of U.S. engagement in the Middle East?

Ferguson says it would be naive to assume that Washington would withdraw in any significant way from the region.

"Nobody is going to step in and take the job of being global policeman in charge of Middle Eastern stability. I think everyone would be nervous, if the Chinese suddenly volunteered to take that job on, which by the way they are not going to do anytime soon," he said.

For the recently reelected U.S. president though, the energy boom looks like it could provide a welcome tailwind for his second term.

It's something that Ferguson acknowledges -- though one suspects through gritted teeth.

As a supporter of Mitt Romney he penned a controversial pre-election cover story in Newsweek headlined "Hit the Road, Barack," which was highly critical of the president's first term.

He concedes the irony that the president will now be the beneficiary of the "good times that lie ahead."
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:40 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by penguinz View Post
someone will post soon about that being a myth.
Myth ? No, certain fracking fluids are just not suitable around water tables. A lot of alternative fracking fluids is being looked at now because of the concern from the environmentalist.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-1...ale-wells.html
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:40 PM   #32
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I hear fracking and I think of that video clip of that guy lighting the fracking water on fire coming out of the tap in his sink in his house.

I read where they were able to light the groundwater on fire is somewhere back east (Pennsylvania?). Apparently this is a natural phenomenon due to how shallow the hydrocarbons are to the surface. The Indians knew of this area and had a name for this which I don't recall and, no, it was not firewater. The environmentalists did not disclose this was a naturally occurring issue in their film because it opposed their agenda.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:41 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Donger View Post
Okay, please show me one instance where fracking has lead to what you are apparently claiming.
http://money.cnn.com/2012/07/31/news...l-us/index.htm
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:42 PM   #34
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Okay, please show me one instance where fracking has lead to what you are apparently claiming.
It hasn't, yet. They just don't want it to.

I base a lot of my business off of the oil and gas projects in the US and it's in the pipeline news all the time somewhere.

But it's changing due to the concern, let the little birdies chirp.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:43 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by penguinz View Post
Sorry, but you are presenting that article as evidence of a destroyed environment?
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:46 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Donger View Post
Sorry, but you are presenting that article as evidence of a destroyed environment?
I see nothing wrong with expressing concern for our water resource ... not that it's done much good so far, of course.

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Old 11-23-2012, 02:50 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by FAX View Post
I see nothing wrong with expressing concern for our water resource ... not that it's done much good so far, of course.

FAX
Nor do I. But I think that such overly-dramatic and unfounded prognostications aren't exactly beneficial.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:50 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
In your opinion, is there any significantly greater reason to fear the environmental impact of fracking than to fear that of poorly regulated oil extraction or nuclear energy production? Or for that matter, the disposal of chemical waste?
Complicated question when you look at it from a life cycle perspective.

From the stand point of putting the well in place oil drilling and NG fracking are roughly equivalent.

The main risk of fracking a well is the impact on overall water resources (how much water are you losing to the fracking process that you might need for other uses) and the removal of pollutants from the production water (the water that comes back up the well) before disposal.

For both types of wells, I think it is important to control NG emissions during the initial period before the well is put into productive operation.

During transport there is potential for natural gas leakage. Since methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, that needs to be monitored and controlled.

Oil has to be refined and there are environmental risks associated with that process, largely regulated.

Oil is a dirtier fuel than natural gas when you burn it.

Done properly with fuel reprocessing nuclear is potentially the cleanest. Fuel reprocessing is currently politically infeasible in this country. And the number of actual accidents shows that the risk of accidents is far underestimated. The financial risk for utilities is also huge, but that isn't an environmental risk.

Chemical waste disposal doesn't really fit with the others. It is a collection of diverse operations that get rid of an environmental liability, while energy production is concerned with obtaining an asset. So I'll leave that one out.

I'll throw in coal and renewables for reference.

So I'd rank them with respect to environmental friendliness once the fracking regs come to steady state:

renewables > fracked natural gas > nuclear > oil > coal
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:50 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by FAX View Post
I see nothing wrong with expressing concern for our water resource ... not that it's done much good so far, of course.

FAX
So far nothing has happened. Oil drillers have guidelines they must go by with the fracking, especially in the area and knowing the potential it could do to waterways, above and in the ground.

Quote:
Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI), the world’s third-largest provider of fracking services, offers a fluid called “VaporFrac” that replaces almost all of the water used in fracking with nitrogen- based foam.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:51 PM   #40
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So the video clips on you tube of people lighting their tap water on fire in the area of the country where fracking is occurring are all fake?
Bad wells. Not the fault of the technology per se.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:10 PM   #41
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:38 PM   #42
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It really isn't a secret. Even though some of this oil will be exported, it's still a beneficial thing for every American.
Oh, please.

Every election cycle, people claim "But gas prices were less under "John Doe"!

The POTUS nor his policies do very little, if anything, to affect the price gasoline and anyone that claims as such is either a liar uninformed.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:53 PM   #43
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Oh, please.

Every election cycle, people claim "But gas prices were less under "John Doe"!

The POTUS nor his policies do very little, if anything, to affect the price gasoline and anyone that claims as such is either a liar uninformed.


Why are you bringing up politics?

I was referring to there relatively suddenly being a new flow of oil coming into the global market. One of the items that is very closely watched is the global spare capacity. If we start putting millions more barrels of crude into the market, it eases the space capacity concerns.

That has nothing to do with politics.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:02 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Donger View Post
Sorry, but you are presenting that article as evidence of a destroyed environment?
Evidence that the water supply can be in danger in areas that are being fracked.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:14 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by penguinz View Post
Evidence that the water supply can be in danger in areas that are being fracked.
That article is about how energy companies may have difficulty finding water for fracking when water supplies are scarce, not about local people having difficulty. It's pretty unlikely that local populations will put energy company access to water ahead of their own, IMO.
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