Unconventional wisdom: economic analysis of US shale gas and implications for the EU; meanwhile Halliburton strategist wonders: Which country falls for fracking next?

Unconventional wisdom: economic analysis of US shale gas and implications for the EU by Thomas Spencer, Oliver Sartor and Mathilde Mathieu, February 2014, IDDRI SciencesPo, STUDIES N°02/2014. IDDRI (Institut du développement durable et des relations internationales, Paris, France), 2014. 36 P.

Cette étude propose une évaluation de la « révolution » du gaz de schiste aux États-Unis, notamment en termes de prix de l’énergie et d’impacts macroéconomiques, et questionne la réplicabilité de cette révolution et de ses impacts en Europe.

Cette publication existe également en version courte : Policy Brief N°05/14.

Despite very low and ultimately unsustainable short-term prices of natural gas, the unconventional oil and gas revolution has had a minimal impact on the US macro-economy. We provide an upper—optimistic—estimate of its long-term effect on the level of US GDP (not its long-term annual growth rate) at about 0.84% between 2012 and 2035. Compared to an annual growth rate of 1.4%, this long-term increase is small. And we estimate its short-term stimulus effects at 0.88% of GDP during the 2007/8 to 2012 downturn. The unconventional oil and gas revolution has also had a minimal impact on US manufacturing, confined to gas-intensive sectors, which we calculate as making up about 1.2% of US GDP. There is thus no evidence that shale gas is driving an overall manufacturing renaissance in the US.

Absent further policies, the US shale revolution will not lead to a significant, sustained decarbonisation of the US energy mix nor will it assure US energy security. A reference scenario based on current policies sees US emissions stagnant at current levels out to 2040, clearly insufficient for a reasonable US contribution to global climate change mitigation. Oil imports continue to rise in monetary terms. While it can promote some coal to gas switching in the short term if additional policies are enacted, there is also the risk that the unconventional oil and gas revolution further locks the US into an energy- and emissions-intensive capital stock.

It is unlikely that the EU will repeat the US experience in terms of the scale of unconventional oil and gas production. Uncertainty exists around the exact size of exploitable EU shale gas reserves; a median scenario would see the EU producing about 3-10% of its gas demand from shale gas by 2030-2035. The EU’s fossil fuel import dependency will therefore continue to increase and its fossil fuel prices will remain largely determined by international markets. Shale production would not have significant macroeconomic or competitiveness impacts for Europe in the period to 2030- 2035. In terms of energy, climate and competitiveness challenges, shale gas could potentially be a complement to a broad EU energy strategy for some countries heavily dependent on coal or Russian gas, but it is certainly not a substitute for the current strategic orientations of EU energy policy [Emphasis added]

2014 02 IDDRI SciencesPo Unconventional wisdom an economicc analysis of US shale gas and implications for the EU

Complete report

Halliburton Strategist Ponders: Which Country Will Frack Next? by Russell Gold, March 4, 2014, Wall Street Journal
There is no dispute the United States was the first nation to hydraulically fracture a well and has become the world leader in fracking. Canada was second out of the gate and is beginning to develop large shale deposits. Which country will be third? That is a question without a good answer – yet. “It is taking longer than everyone expected,” said Tim Probert, strategic advisor to the chief executive of Houston-based oilfield services firm Halliburton Corp. “I am very optimistic about international advancements and feel we are just in the first innings.” Fracking has become a front-burner political issue in the U.S. recently, but actually has a decades-long history. The U.S. hydraulically fractured the first well in Kansas’s Hugoton gas field in 1946. But while there are 1,100 rigs drilling for oil and gas in shales and other “tight” reservoirs in the U.S., there are only 100 scattered in other countries, he said.

Mr. Probert said he wasn’t sure which would be the next country would join the U.S. and develop a fast-growing fracking industry. In an interview with the WSJ on the sidelines of IHS CERAWeek in Houston, he said he thought it could be Argentina, Australia or Saudi Arabia, which have several rigs drilling wells that target shales. There are a small number of rigs active in Colombia, Poland and Mexico. Mr. Probert said there is not enough good data to determine how many rigs are drilling in China and Russia. Many other countries would like to replicate the U.S.’s success, because the energy boom has brought less expensive electricity and a manufacturing sector renaissance. But development of shale overseas has been difficult due to a lack of rigs and service companies, a paucity of geological data and, perhaps most important, resistance from local landowners. [Emphasis added]

This entry was posted in Global Frac News. Bookmark the permalink.