US oil and gas Fracking CRASHED in 2020 as fleeced investors finally fled, reducing oil output from 13 to 11 million barrels a day (mbd) where it still hovers. Fracking is also now restricted “by permanent sterilization of much of the reservoir in North America due to ‘over-fracking’ damage, in a wild-west binge of millions of unregulated wells”
by theFreeOnline creative commons/free to copy 9/21/2021
Many Fracking companies closed down, leaving 3.2 million abandoned methane- leaking wells, permanently poisoned aquifers, toxic tailing lakes and a bill for hundreds of billion dollars of public money for any future cleanup.
Now it turns out that the Great Frack Rush has already permanently destroyed a large part of the fracking fields.
Apart from wells drying up in 9 months instead of 50 years, greedy operators have carried out such “massive fracks” so close together that “artificial, permanent porosity” was inadvertently created, reducing the pressure in reservoirs and therefore the available oil, “sterilizing much of the reservoir in North America”..
Production is predicted to stagnate around 11 to 12 mbd but could easily crash further as the extent of this damage from ‘over-fracking’ becomes clearer..
All the same, fracking has been a gigantic, glorious, MAGA success story for the US economy.
Incredibly oil production increased from a dwindling 5 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2005 to a record 13 mbd in 2019, making the country nearly self-sufficient in oil and a lot more in gas.
The actual production by fracking of gas and ‘tight oil’ has consistently lost money, running into multi-billions and supported by near zero interest rates, as well as the state and media ”narrative” that it was always just on the point of Big Free Money..
The scam went on and on til 2020 when investors finally had enough, the Covid crisis struck, and the fracking fields, even in the ‘Klondike Permian Frack Bonanza’, began massively drying up even faster.
The fracking boom has been a mega disaster for the planet. The frackers are exempted from the clean water laws and let off, for patriotic and ideological reasons, from paying or mitigating any of the environmental costs. The ‘methane time bomb’ (84 times as bad as CO2) was completely ignored and not even measured.
We knew even 10 years ago that giant clouds of methane were being measured by satellites over the US fracking fields. But this was put down to ‘natural causes’ and the story disappeared. (see..“Methane and the greenhouse-gas emissions footprint of natural gas from shale formations.”)
Years later the media is encouraged to say ‘Oh Dear me, there could be a methane leak’. The U.S. figures are horrifying: More than 3.2 million abandoned oil and gas wells together emitted 281 kilotons of methane in 2018… and the real figures are ‘probably 3 times as bad’.
The US fracking boom is the epitome of predator capitalism. Fired by ‘free money’ loans via ‘World Dollar Hegemony’ and patriotic investment hyped from the Financial Industry, up to one trillion dollars from gullible investors have been ‘burned’, while the fracking companies went bankrupt with quick loot or just started again.
Truth or ethics are irrelevant, (as with the Covid pandemic) we have an ”official narrative” which people subscribe to, and a predator settler mentality that everything is there for the grabbing by divine American right.
It is hardly surprising, then, that the ‘planning-free’ fracking binge in the American shale industry has permanently damaged the country’s oil and gas reserves, threatening hopes for a production recovery and US energy independence.
But ironically demand and soaring prices could make it more ”economic” again and kickstart a new round of investment hype, this time more likely by the biggest players, Chevron Corp (NYSE: CVX), ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) and ConocoPhillips Co. (NYSE: COP)
It’s nearly impossible to imagine the US banning fracking, even as climate chaos begins and the biosphere collapses. By now the US ”democracy” is largely bought out by a military industrial corporate mafia that lacks any common sense or civic responsibility.
For example: In August 2021, the very next day after a new apocalyptic UN Climate report, seven Democratic senators voted with the GOP to block restrictions on fracking. Those seven Democrats had also raked in $1.7 million in donations from oil and gas donors. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021….
Even so, the crash of the Fracking Boom may be, relatively, an opportunity for promoting to some extent CO2-free energy and the so called ‘Green New Deal’.
This is because total U.S. crude oil production averaged only 11.3 million b/d in June 2021… . This means US oil imports will have to increase from its 2020 average of 2.7 million barrels per day (b/d) to 3.7 million b/d in 2021 and 4.4 million b/d in 2022 and probably much more.
If these predictions are correct this could be an opportunity for the Big Oil criminals and $ trillion a year military to “put on their Green Hats” and narrow this trade deficit by supporting solar energy, with all American expensive solar panels (having banned evil Chinese imports) and cheerled by Joe Biden the delighted MAGA media.
While the U.S. is lagging behind in the effort to stop the ill effects of global climate crisis, states like Vermont, Washington, Maryland and New York have passed bans. Both Georgia and Florida have attempted these bans as well. Banning fracking isn’t enough, though….
Environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing in the United States has been an issue of public concern, and includes the contamination of ground and surface water, methane emissions, air pollution, migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals and radionuclides to the surface, the potential mishandling of solid……
**UPDATE: The Cornell paper is now available in final, published format here: “Methane and the greenhouse-gas emissions footprint of natural gas from shale formations.”[PDF]
Texas & New Mexico communities & experts urge COP25 to defuse Permian’s carbon bomb
Fracking has been successfully resisted throughout all of Europe.