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The shale phenomenon: fabulous miracle with a fatal flaw

The Christian Science Monitor -- Shales are stubborn, stingy, and impermeable. Their physics are torturous. The pore throats, or passageways, of some shales are barely bigger than a single methane molecule. Until very recently, trying to harvest gas from shale was like trying to breathe through Saran Wrap, an exhausting enterprise with no upside.

Today, for $5-10 million, you can drill and "frac" an excellent well that will initially produce 1,000 barrels, or 6 million cubic feet, a day.

But typically that well will age rapidly. Many good wells, not to mention the dogs, will be exhausted within 15 years. The decline rate of a shale well is breathtaking, a Wile E. Coyote-like plunge from cliff top to oblivion. In the Bakken and Haynesville plays, production can fall 80 percent within 24 months. By the end of four years,


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Submitted Feb 24, 2013 By: NOTSOGRN
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REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Feb 27, 2013 4:53:32 AM

kkimes: indeed. We've tried that before with other sources and fell face first in the mud... didn't learn from that, did we?
drpepperTX
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Feb 25, 2013 8:33:29 PM

nsdp, very good post pointing out the fatal flaws in this story.
pleinyeux
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:26:36 PM

Time of miracles has gone long away ....
orphancarguyPE
Champion Author PEI

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 7:45:26 PM

Some very good documentation out there which documents beyond all the excited hype just how fast the drop off rate is. Unlike a Ponzi scheme, there is a possible return on investment on the positive side, but likely only at several times the current retain price...

As well, with the 'as soon as you start' drop-off in production, there comes a point VERY quickly where all your capital is just going in to maintain a plateau of production, not to increase it by game-changing amounts.

jimgraham
Champion Author Akron

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 7:05:39 PM

Waiting for the bubble collapse - not burst..
LetemEatCake
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 6:08:15 PM


Excellent, well articulated theory on the future of fracking from a reliable source.

My concerns are more along the lines of T42 and the toxic chemicals which result.

I totally agree with what Kkimes said, "I hate to see the US put all our eggs in one basket." Good advice!
kkimes
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 6:01:16 PM

I hate to see the US put all our eggs in one basket. Fortunately, I won't be here any more when the crash comes.
teafortwo
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 3:12:16 PM


How could we possibly be exposed to the toxic chemicals used in fracking PDQBlues?

GB oil & gas industry shills tell US all toxic chemicals are thousands of feet in the Earth.

Still a bit of a mystery how the toxic chemicals get down there? And stay put?

Do you think that is part of the oil & gas industry "trade secret" ?

**POOF**

Now you see it.

Now you don't.

No wonder the oil & gas industry says there's no good reason for US to know toxic chemical recipes.

How could something we can not see possibly hurt US?

Jeff1944
Champion Author South Dakota

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 2:49:08 PM

All good things come to end; some sooner than later. It still is better than we did it. Otherwise some of the greenies may have frozen together in the dark! LOL!
PDQBlues
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 2:31:16 PM


A fatal flaw indeed, especially with the toxic materials used in fracking that will be fatal to those exposed to it.
md11capt
Champion Author Denver

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 2:31:14 PM

How bout that piece news Frackers? Another PR Job by BIG OIL.
YumaFellow
Champion Author Arizona

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 2:27:35 PM

This is a good article from a good source. The fracking boom is likely to have a short life even if its consequences will hang around for decades.
nsdp
Champion Author San Antonio

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 12:44:05 PM

Another ignorant story. Since Wall Street made Cash Flow king in the 80's operators have completed and operated their wells to maximize upfront profits and not prudent operations to maximize recovery. In the 1980's the typical well in the Permian basin drilled into the Ellenberger formation produced 1/2 of the recoverable hydrocarbons in 2 years and was depleted in 5-7 years.

Welcome to the 20th Century.

[Edited by: nsdp at 2/24/2013 1:44:54 PM EST]
hvyd1
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 11:09:44 AM

that was interesting
TXRanger09
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 10:52:36 AM

Very interesting article by Randy Udall, a sustainable energy expert, is co-founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil – USA, Mr. Udall is brother to Sen. Mark Udall (D) of Colorado. e.
BurntOrange
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 10:13:04 AM

dogs?
lpatti1
Champion Author Philadelphia

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:41:56 AM

Someone has a gold mine for states?
nstrdnvstr
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:39:12 AM

Keep on fracking, it creates much needed jobs.
Rhino8of8
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:38:54 AM

Nice additional info, AmmoManAaron
Mr_Bill_W
All-Star Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:38:36 AM

What seems to be absent from the equation is what is the price of our rushing to embrace this new found panacea purportedly for all our petroleum and gas woes?

What will the cost be in town terms of impact on the fona and flora of those areas where the extraction of shale oil takes place? The environmental and human costs and impacts are largely unknown and speculative at best, accordingly due caution and prudent restraint must be completed exercised as moves in this direction come to pass...
BumpinButch
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:31:44 AM

SHALE FOR SELL SALE!
drillintheUSA
Champion Author Rochester

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:31:32 AM

So what. FRACK now! This is nothing new. We've only been Fracking since 1949: HELLO! Stop looking at the 'Half Full' as 'Half Empty' you chicken littles!!

~ drillintheUSA / FRACKintheUSA.now

[Edited by: drillintheUSA at 2/24/2013 10:32:01 AM EST]
Chadgas
Champion Author Missouri

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:30:05 AM

Re-frac.
Chas58
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:29:40 AM

Spent 20 minutes reading this and am not any more informed.
trekmanKY
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:29:33 AM

Ohkay!
KhelbenArunson
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:29:29 AM

Ok
WeasleyOC
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:28:39 AM

It should be good while it lasts.
OnABudget1
Champion Author Salinas

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:28:23 AM

Interesting
mst150
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:27:14 AM

A very interesting take on this subject ...
Mariuxus
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:26:13 AM

So...
Don20
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:22:51 AM

Well lets wait and see. in the mean time extract all you can. In other word make hay while the sun shines..
dcoxdcox44
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:22:39 AM

Wow, no one here is complaining about gas prices or accusing this of another reason to manipulate prices!
What is wrong with you guys?
Rick01
Champion Author Utah

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:22:34 AM

And when the bedrock is turned into sand and we cannot drink the water, then what???
WilW
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:22:19 AM

Hey Mildred! Ain't we got a Shale station on the corner?
findcheap
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:21:54 AM

Wrecking landscape for 15 years reward?
MrLuigi
Champion Author Massachusetts

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:21:50 AM

just about everything has pro's/con's......make the best of it
pbalmeo
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:20:11 AM

Get it while you can.
Caribou2011
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:19:36 AM

ATime to live for the now, tomorrow is always uncertain.
Blue_Cruzer
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:17:42 AM

Make hay while the sun shines.
lindact
Champion Author New Haven

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:17:00 AM

Bad long term repercussions for a short term fix.
Hugo40
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:15:53 AM

There are always downsides to everything.
jimmy544
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:15:38 AM

The only answer is to move on while this window exists there is no long term future to petroleum powered world.
tekguy
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:15:24 AM

Interesting article.
Wizrd03
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:15:13 AM

Interesting
LKnight598
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:13:15 AM

Interesting...
drawee
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:13:04 AM

old news
matthwbar
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:13:00 AM

Oh my..!
LuthierKS
Champion Author Wichita

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:11:21 AM

Interesting article.
neptune2008
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:07:46 AM

no means no
CorvairHaven
Champion Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:06:58 AM

I wondered about the longevity.
GDAE
Champion Author Wichita

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:06:18 AM

Good article.
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