Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Darker Take on Shale

Never let it be said that I'm a Pollyanna about shale gas. While there is lots of happy talk about shale gas out there (see next post), there are also some detractors.

I've noted several of Arthur Berman's articles suggesting that producing shale gas is not economically feasible. After he received lots of media attention at a recent oil and gas conference, management at World Oil magazine decided (or were pressured) to cancel his November column for the magazine, causing Berman to resign as a columnist.

Enter Financial Times columnist John Dizard to the fray. He published a column in FT this weekend suggesting that shale gas might be lots of hype and a potential bubble. He bases some of his column on Mr. Berman's work, but his beef is the thought that shale gas is just another way to separate investors from their money. "Ideas like that are why God mad PowerPoint," quips Mr. Dizard.

It's too early to know who is right, but it sure will be interesting to find out over time.

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