This feature post in resilience.org picks up on mounting evidence that the shale oil and gas boom is really just another investment bubble. “Hype works,” Lawrence writes. But recently, “some companies, such as Shell, admitted that their divestment of North American shale properties was to stem the financial hemorrhaging and to distance themselves from disappointing well results. Others, like Exxon Mobil, claim to still be true believers in spite of their losses.” She adds that “a melting ice cube is the perfect analogy for shales. The production declines are so steep that the only way to keep the game going is to drill and drill and drill a lot of very expensive wells, with most having rather marginal performance and very short lives. Spending four dollars for every dollar you make simply doesn’t work over any meaningful period of time,” even for poorly-rated drilling companies that name most of their wells after superheroes and monster trucks. (h/t to The Energy Mix subscriber Diane Beckett)
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