By NY GEEZER, comment on Where Money Goes to Die: How Fracking Blows Up Balance Sheets of Oil and Gas Companies
Your message is very important!
In my view, we especially need to be very concerned about environmental harm from fracking.
Fracking has not only resulted in an exponential increase in the number of oil and natural gas wells that have been drilled, it has also resulted in an unknowable increase in pollution and the harm from it. Oil and gas wells always leak methane which is harmful to the environment and ground water. In addition, they produce hazardous waste.
Paradoxically, during the Regan administration the US Congress and the US Environmental Protection Agency determined to classify oil field waste as non-hazardous, thus exempting it from tight hazardous waste controls. Hence, individual states are left to manage it. That management is generally lax as environmental interests are no match for corporate lobbying. Anecdotally, some horror stories emerge.
Environmentalists in North Dakota have expressed concern that discarded well filters have tested highly radioactive, and local non-hazardous waste landfill operators have had to install radiation detectors to combat the illegal disposal of such filters mixed with non-hazardous waste.
In Pennsylvania numerous oil and gas wells have surreptitiously been tested and found to contain high levels of radium which is highly radioactive. Some municipal waste water treatment plants in Pennsylvania have complained that radioactive waste water from fracking has been discharged to their waste water treatment plants. Such plants are not only unequipped to treat it, but their biological treatment processes are harmed by the radiation.
It is a pity that fracking is being promoted by our government as the solution to our energy needs when it has both adverse economic and environmental issues that are being ignored.
Response by CrazyCooter:
Robert Rapier gets into this a little bit …
“Just to put the current US oil boom into further perspective, over the past five years global oil production has increased by 3.85 million bpd. During that same time span, US production increased by 3.22 million bpd — 83.6 percent of the total global increase. Had the US shale oil boom never happened and US production continued to decline as it had for nearly 40 years prior to 2008, the global price of oil might easily be at $150 to $200 a barrel by now. Without those additional barrels on the market from (primarily) North Dakota and Texas, the price of crude would have risen until supply and demand were in balance.”
Fracking is an old tech from the 80s that never made any sense economically. This is part and parcel with the can kicking going on at the macro level (QE, etc) for the reasons quoted above. The economic losses are very easy to paper over in a QE/low rate environment, but as Wolf shows above the losses will continue to pile up and will eventually implode the companies to which the debts belong … and that will trim production … and then oil prices will adjust to some sort of balance.
Rough seas ahead!
The article and the rest of the comments are here: Where Money Goes to Die: How Fracking Blows Up Balance Sheets of Oil and Gas Companies