Injecting Some Realism in the Shale Gas Debate

Writing in the Financial Post, Vaclav Smil, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and until 2011 a Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Manitoba gives some sage advice on the wild claims on both sides of the shale gas drilling isle:

Here is my advice. Do not get carried away either by bonanza claims (implying only sinking natural gas prices and seeing Marcellus as the Saudi Arabia of natural gas) or by the negativism of anti-fracking activists (recently joined by Hollywood celebrities). Low prices will slow the development of shale gas. Reserve estimates of any mineral resource are always uncertain during an early stage of development (in 2011, the U.S. Geological Survey boosted its estimate of technically recoverable Marcellus gas more than 40-fold compared with its 2002 figure), and even conservative assessments point to a combination of already available reserves and the most likely additional resources that would suffice (at the current rate of consumption) to supply America for at least the next 50 years.*

Read the rest of his excellent opinion piece on why natural gas is quickly becoming the top fossil fuel by clicking the link below.

*Don Mills (Ontario) Financial Post (May 3, 2012) – Our future is gas