Kunstler this week writes about Aubrey McClendon, who apparently was on a recent edition of 60 minutes orating about our 250 (or so) year supply of gas, methane gas that is from shale fields. I’m glad I missed the original show as McClendon is one of my least favorite plutocratic welfare queens. He’s the head of Chesapeake Oil, which has a BIG presence here in Okie City. He is very wealthy, but even so, when he and a couple of his buddies decided to snatch the Sonic basketball team from Seattle and transform it into the OKC Thunder, they looted $120 million or so from the OKC taxpayers for a “practice facility.” Nice work if you can get it.
Kunstler does his usual rhetorical job on McLendon’s assertions. See http://kunstler.com/blog/2010/11/sixty-lame-minutes.html for details.
The Decline of the Empire website today has another article debunking the “promise” of shale gas at http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2010/11/the-shale-gas-shell-game.html . This follows an earlier article Shale Gas Shennanigans at http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2010/03/shale-gas-shenanigans.html . See also Gas Shales: energy market solution or problem at http://www.epmag.com/Magazine/2010/2/item52332.php . Note the rapid run-up in estimated US gas reserves 2006-2008. And note the evidence of chicanery in both developing the estimates and reporting the production costs.
And then , of course, there is the question that folks like us ask: can natural gas production actually replace oil and coal? See http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2010/03/betting-the-house-on-shale-gas.html for a look at this question. Note that this shale gas boom is in the context of declining production of conventional natural gas. See figure three which shows that by the year 2020, shale gas AND LNG imports will only partially offset declines in conventional natural gas production and imports from Canada. And the next figure going out to 2035, shows that even with various other gas sources coming online, total US availability is still LESS than its previous peak.
Which leads to the question — if by 2035, gas production will not be equal to its previous peak year, how can it become the fuel substitute of choice for coal and oil?
In other words, McLendon is blowing air out his anus with his promise of a 250 year supply of gas that can substitute for declining supplies of oil and coal. It’s just big mouth talk, designed mostly to run up the price of stock in his company, making promises that his industry simply cannot deliver upon.
Peak energy is upon us, whether we like it or not, whether we “believe” it or not. Reality is not impressed with human belief or non-belief, it simply is. We can adapt and survive, or refuse to adapt and die. That’s the stark choice we face.
- Got a local energy system?
- Got a local food system?
- Got a local finance/economic system?
- Got food storage?