France Commits Energy Suicide – No New Oil & Gas Exploration, Ever

Click chart for a readable version – France’s energy mix (as of 2013)

MDN editor Jim Willis had the pleasure of visiting France in 2006. It is a breathtakingly beautiful country. Jim found the French people to be personable and easy to deal with (contrary to the popular myth they are arrogant and hate Americans). But hey, that was just one guy’s experience. Maybe you have had a different experience? We’ve written about France’s on again, off again frack ban over the years (see our stories about France here). You won’t have to worry about whether or not France will ever allow fracking. Beginning this fall, the country will stop issuing ANY/ALL permits to drill for ANY/ALL oil and gas–conventional, shale, doesn’t matter. France says it will “transition” to “environmentally-friendly energy.” You know, like solar and wind–even though discarded solar panels are about the same thing as disposing of nuclear waste (an ecological disaster). But appearances are everything for French President Emmanuel Macron and his certifiably-insane government. France currently (as of 2013) gets 44.5% of its energy from oil and gas, the single largest block of energy powering the country. Nuclear is second, at 41%. Wind and solar? Together they make up less than 1% of France’s energy supply! Why is France’s energy suicide an MDN story, other than Jim’s walk down memory lane? Because it’s easy to predict that France will not be able to operate on 100% renewable energy. Not now, not in our lifetime. It is a fact. If France doesn’t allow oil and natural gas exploration INSIDE their country, they will need to import oil and gas from OTHER countries. Enter the Marcellus/Utica with plenty of gas via LNG exports to sell. This is a tip to producers reading MDN to begin negotiating now to sell your gas to France. They’re going to need it…
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ecorpStim Tries to Interest France in Waterless Fracking Tech

In April, MDN told you about progress with a new waterless method of fracking that uses 100% nonflammable propane fracking fluid. The technique was developed by eCORP Stimulation Technologies, a subsidiary of eCORP International (see Non-Flammable Liquid Propane Used for 100% Waterless Fracking). ecorpStim, as they call themselves, doesn’t seem to have had much luck in finding drillers in the U.S. to use their technology–no doubt because it’s so cheap to use water for fracking.

Sensing there may be an opportunity, ecorpStim recently went on a field trip–to France–to present their technological “break through” to members of the French Parliament. You may recall the French Supreme Court recently upheld a countrywide ban on hydraulic fracturing–at least fracking that uses water (see France’s Fracking Ban ‘Absolute’ After Court Upholds Law). Since water fracking isn’t an option in France, ecorpStim is hoping the French will consider a slightly more expensive, non-water option for fracking…
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Pass the Foie Gras! France Starts Fracking, Calls it Stimulation

MDN has covered the on-again, off-again attitude in France about fracking. As we previously reported, it seemed the French had left the door open to fracking as long as it doesn’t use water as the main ingredient, and as long as you don’t actually call it "fracking" (see France’s Fracking Ban Remains…Peut-être). Bloomberg reports France is moving forward with a program to retrieve geothermal heat by "stimulating" rock—forcing water with chemicals under pressure deep underground. Sound familiar?

The only thing that’s different between what France is doing and what happens in the U.S. is the object of the fuel they’re retrieving. It’s geothermal in France, natural gas or oil in the U.S. The process to retrieve it is virtually the same. But the French refuse to call it what it is: hydraulic (water-based) fracturing—i.e. fracking. Oh well, c’est la vie…

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France’s Fracking Ban Remains…Peut-être

MDN has previously reported on the fracking ban in the country of France (see this MDN story). French leaders don’t seem to speak with each other about the question of “Will they or won’t they?” allow fracking someday. They do seem to be agreed that water-based fracking is banned and will remain so, but as for other kinds of fracking (or non-fracking) of shale gas, they tend to talk past each other.

Case in point: Here’s what the newly elected Prime Minister of France, Jean-Marc Ayrault, said last week about shale gas extraction and fracking:

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France’s Confusing Stance on a Fracking Ban

Yesterday MDN reported on the Bloomberg Businessweek story that France is reconsidering its ban on fracking (see this MDN story). It seems the Businessweek story created a bit of a stir because the French government has assured everyone the ban remains. Except if new technology comes out, then they might reconsider. All of which is driving Greenpeace bonkers (which is always a good thing).

Let’s try to sort it out.

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France Considers Lifting its Ban on Fracking

Don’t look now, but one of the shining examples of an entire country that banned fracking—France—a country exalted by anti-drillers as a shining example for America to emulate, is considering…lifting the ban! That’s right, the new French government, which is Socialist to the point of being Communist, sees all of the jobs being created by shale drilling in the U.S.—and they’re lusting for it.

Faced with keeping the ban to placate the greens, or lift the ban and embrace safe drilling and reap thousands of new jobs, the new Socialist French government is leaning toward the later. C’est la vie.

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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Dec 19, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: PA Sen. John Yudichak named to Senate Environmental Committee; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Buyer mulling stake covering 4 million mt/y of Driftwood LNG supply; Natural gas companies form PAC to fight CMP’s proposed transmission project; Rising Bakken gas production displacing Western Canadian gas on pipes; NATIONAL: Shale revolution ensuring America’s energy security, says GEI; A decade in which fracking rocked the oil world.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Dec 18, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: A natural gas blowout in Ohio released more methane than many countries do in an entire year; Natural gas initiative shifts to statewide action; Oil and Gas industry partners with first responders; NATIONAL: Is Wall Street turning its back on fossil fuels?; Aly Energy Services, Inc. goes dark, no longer filing SEC updates; Fight over flaring: Industry, enviros contrasting accounts over burning excess natural gas; Michael Moore & Me (video); INTERNATIONAL: Ontario expanding natural gas to more communities across Ontario.
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Misnamed Young “Conservatives” for Carbon Dividends Wants CO2 Tax

If there is one defining characteristic of a truly conservative Republican, it is that he or she does not like higher taxes. On anything. Conservatives know that higher taxes equal less freedom of individual choice. And higher taxes feed (and perpetuate) the bureaucratic Big Government machine. A lower taxes philosophy is baked into the true conservative’s DNA. Yet a group of brainwashed college students professing to be Republican and conservative (they’re neither) has just launched a group called Young Conservatives for Carbon Dividends to lobby for an insane carbon tax.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Fri, Dec 6, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Future of oil and gas in Ohio Valley looks bright; NATIONAL: Analysis: US oil, gas rig count falls by 4 to 691, Permian totals slide; N. American shale primed for growth despite possible oil price declines; Gas lobby group goes on attack to halt move to ban new hook-ups; Natural gas outpaced renewable energy in reducing greenhouse gases; Moore’s Law misapplied (video); INTERNATIONAL: As Lopez Obrador focuses on oil, U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico soar; Europe was favored destination for US LNG in November amid activity ramp-up.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Nov 19, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Encino Acquisition Partners appoints Alexandra Pruner to Board of Directors; David Porges to step down from Equitrans Midstream board of directors; Falcon Pipeline drilling briefly shut down over instrumentation; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: New construction natural gas ban trend appears on East Coast; NATIONAL: U.S. rig count crashes again: loses nearly 100 rigs in 3 months; INTERNATIONAL: Spain top destination for U.S. LNG exports in September; Gazprom’s production up, European deliveries slip; Trinidad gas gap will claim more industries: regulator.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Nov 5, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: PADD 1 distillate shortage threatens winter price spikes; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Phasing out natural gas yields dubious benefits, but much economic pain; NATIONAL: The Trump administration begins the formal U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement; Disney Cruise Line orders LNG-fueled trio; KBR immune from shale slump during third quarter; Natural gas soars on cold-weather forecasts; The peak oil denier takes a victory lap; The cost of decommissioning wind turbines is huge; INTERNATIONAL: Fracking could start again as firm behind drilling tries to get ban overturned; Energy companies say the oil glut–and shrinking profits–aren’t over yet; Saudi Aramco starts IPO; OPEC sees its market share shrinking for years as shale triumphs.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Oct 30, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Nation’s largest coal producer files Chapter 11 bankruptcy; 8 drilling permits awarded by ODNR; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Floating shale gas LNG producer moving ahead with build out plans; San Jose moves to boost electric use in homes, mayor touts electric cars as PG&E power shutdown continues; NATIONAL: BP bearish on natural gas prices, LNG exports to 2021; INTERNATIONAL: One of the Sustainable Buses of the Year runs on natural gas; More bad news for Canada’s crumbling oil industry.
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Ohio Landowners Sue Encino Energy for Shorting Royalties

Landowners in Carroll and Columbiana counties (Ohio) have filed a class action lawsuit against Encino Energy claiming the company underpaid oil and natural gas royalties. Last November Encino Acquisition Partners (i.e. Encino Energy) completed its purchase of all of Chesapeake Energy’s Ohio Utica Shale assets for $2 billion (see Stop Press: Chesapeake Sells ALL of its Ohio Utica Assets for $2B). The deal included all of Chesapeake’s 933,000 Ohio acres–with 320,000 net Utica acres–and 920 operated and non-operated Ohio Utica wells.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Oct 7, 2019

NATIONAL: Rigs keep dropping out of U.S. patch as oil, gas both down; Trump sides with farmers in ethanol proposal, angering oil industry; Working natural gas storage capacity utilization reaches 80% or more in EIA’s three largest regions; Slower production growth putting less pressure on prices in 2019/20 winter, says NGSA; U.S. shale oil and natural gas, underestimated its whole life; Rising ethane demand means less rejection, more recovery and higher prices; INTERNATIONAL: Energy transition? Not so fast, one expert says; Pipelines from Russia cross political lines; OPEC chief invites all 97 oil producers to join OPEC+ coalition; Iran says Chinese state oil firm withdraws from $5b natural gas deal.
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