Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.BrExit House Prices Crash, Flat or Rally? UK Housing Market Affordability Crisis - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Stocks Bull Market Climbs Wall of Worry, Bubble? When Will it End? - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Gold Price Is Now On Its Way To All-Time Highs - Hubert_Moolman
4.Deutche Bank Stock Price Crash - The EU Has Problems Far Beyond the Brexit - Harry_Dent
5.UK interest Rate PANIC CUT! As Banks Prepare to Steal Customer Deposits - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Gold and Silver Bull Phase 1 : Final Impulse Dead Ahead - Plunger
7.Central Bankers Fighting An Unprecedented Global Economic Slowdown - Gordon_T_Long
8.Putin Hacking Hillary for Trump, Russia's Manchurian Candidate? - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Stock Market Insiders Are Secretly Selling, Cycle Top Next Month - Chris_Vermeulen
10.Gold Sector - Is it time to Back up the Truck? – Mortgage the Farm? - Peter_Degraaf
Free Silver
Last 7 days
Stagflation to Force People into Gold - 30th Aug 16
Late-August Calm a Breeding Ground for Gold Bullion Bank Shenanigans - 30th Aug 16
Stock Market Long View - 30th Aug 16
Fundamentals for Uranium look great; is the Uranium Market ready to soar? - 29th Aug 16
3 Ways to Profit from the Stressed-Out American Consumer - 29th Aug 16
Have The Markets Become Too Big to Fail? - 29th Aug 16
Pakistan Booming House Prices Housing Market Mania Kabza Mafia Warning! - 29th Aug 16
Post Yellen = Market Confusion - 28th Aug 16
Theresa May Instructs Police, NHS Gp's, Public Sector To Stop Racial Discrimination in Service Delivery - 28th Aug 16
Ignore Yellen and Buy the Dip in Precious Metals - 27th Aug 16
SPX Downtrend Should be Underway - 27th Aug 16
Unraveling the Secular Economic Stagnation Story - 27th Aug 16
The Precious Metals Sector and the Fed. . . - 27th Aug 16
Stock Market - All Is Calm, All Is Not Right - 27th Aug 16
Gold Junior Stocks Q2 2016 Fundamentals - 26th Aug 16
Buy Gold’s August Dip? Gold’s Monthly Sweet Spot In September - 26th Aug 16
The IMF’s Internal Audit Reveals Its Incompetence and Massive Rule Breaking - 26th Aug 16
Commodities Are the Best Bargain Now—Here’s What to Buy - 26th Aug 16
Why I Left Canada and Became A Citizen of the Dominican Republic - 26th Aug 16
The GLD vs GOLD - 26th Aug 16
Can Stocks Survive Without Stimulus? - 25th Aug 16
Why Putin Might Be on His Way Out - 25th Aug 16
Bond Guru Gary Shilling - The Bond Market Rally of a Lifetime - 25th Aug 16
A Zombie Financial System, Black Swans and a Gold Share Correction - 25th Aug 16
OPEC’s Output Freeze: What Has Changed Since Doha? - 25th Aug 16
Merkel Prepares For a Deliberate Crisis While White House Plans For a Disastrous Succession - 24th Aug 16
Suspicious Reversal in Gold Price - 23rd Aug 16
If Trump Can’t Pull Off a Victory, Expect a Civil War - 23rd Aug 16
Ceding ICANN and Internet Control to Globalists - 23rd Aug 16
How to Spot an Oversold Stock Market - 23rd Aug 16
Gerald Celente Sees Worst Market Crash, New Military Conflict, Gold Spike to $2,000/oz - 23rd Aug 16
EU Olympics Medals Table Propaganda Includes BrExit Britain - 22nd Aug 16
BrExit Win's Britain Olympics Success Freedom Dividend, Economy Next - 22nd Aug 16
Stock Market Top Forming, but Slowly - 22nd Aug 16
(Really) Alternative Banking Systems - 22nd Aug 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

US Economy - 3 Secret Charts

America's Rocky Path towards Energy Independence

Commodities / Energy Resources Nov 14, 2012 - 08:25 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Commodities

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleDr. Kent Moors writes: You might have seen yesterday's headline in the Wall Street Journal: "U.S. Redraws World Oil Map."

As the article explains, U.S. oil production is now on pace to surpass Saudi Arabia by 2020. This would make the United States world's largest oil producer. We're already the second-largest natural gas producer, according to 2010 EIA estimates.


It's all thanks to the U.S. shale boom that has unlocked billions of barrels of oil and trillions of feet of natural gas from the Appalachian Mountains to the Pacific Coast, from the Bakken in North Dakota to the shale fields of southern Texas.

But all of this fracking has caused some serious economic and environmental problems.

And while I greatly advocate increased drilling and domestic production, we still must address a wide-range of problems now plaguing the shale oil and gas sectors.

After all - with apologies to Voltaire and Spiderman - with such great fortune comes greater responsibility.

That's why I am in the third day of what has become a very interesting conference here in Pittsburgh. It was convened to set the agenda moving forward to deal with the almost invisible aspects of shale oil and gas drilling.

In fact, for the first time, the conference's primary focus will be on the negatives caused by the drilling.

We also have questions surrounding the amount of water required to frack these formations (the process needs a lot of water to break open rock and release hydrocarbons), as well as the ongoing public health fears from the chemicals used.

Now, we are seeing parallel economic problems as well.

In the Marcellus basin, researchers are now recording some of these shortcomings and placing them in four basic categories.

The real concern is that these four problems - in infrastructure, labor, local inflation, and the environment - will remain well after the drilling (and the revenue) has moved on.

So before you decide to declare "energy independence", take a look at some of the downside that may come along with it.

1. Infrastructure Damage Continues to Accelerate.

The constant movement in water trucks and equipment has caused widespread destruction to roads, bridges, and access routes. In Pennsylvania, localities have responded by introducing "impact fees," which are paid by operating companies to offset the damage.

Yet, the payments have to be divided among locations where drilling takes place, those affected but receiving no direct largess from the gas extraction, townships, counties, with a portion left over for statewide conservation, environmental, and state land maintenance issues.

It is too early to determine the result. The low volume of wells due to poor natural gas market prices (until recently) has depressed the anticipated drilling, making estimates difficult. Nonetheless, we do know from earlier experience in the Barnett basin of Texas that, once the drilling picks up, such fee payments are likely to trail behind the destruction.

The damage, in other words, occurs quicker than the funding to fix it.

2. Labor Dislocation Has Become Visible

As the emphasis is placed upon drilling, employment gravitates to the job openings.This is perfectly natural, in an economy were so many are unemployed or underemployed.

But the short-term emphasis on gas production in each locality throws training and educational programs into imbalance, as well. With the average well producing most of its gas in the first 18 months, and only a finite number of pads (each housing several wells) possible before a company moves on, the emphasis to make new jobs available in these communities only makes the aftermath of drilling that much more difficult to face.

3. Local Inflation Punishes Residents

All eyes have been on the money pouring in and the potential for employment from the drilling.

But as shale gas and oil progressively come to dominate domestic production, a "boom and bust" cycle has developed in the towns surrounded by the shale basins. Simply put, the injections of short-term money are introducing a range of problems for local communities.

Local inflation is rising due to dual pressures.

On the one hand, as so much money pours into confined areas in a short period of time, prices rise quickly for everything from housing and basic services to menu items at the corner diner.

On the other hand, dual usage equipment, materials, and supplies - both needed at the wellheads and having a separate demand in non-gas producing segments of the market - increase in price. Supplies are not sufficient. Competition jacks up the cost.

The worst position to be in when both of these hit is living on a fixed income.

It's no surprise residents of these areas are increasingly relying on public programs. And there are no additional local funds to provide them.

4. Environmental Problems Continue to Mount

Finally, the most disquieting downside is one whose price tag can't be determined yet.

Pennsylvania alone has more than 400,000 plugged wells and many more closed coalmines. Most were discontinued some time ago, but there is a double whammy here. Many were capped or sealed poorly. It is difficult even to determine their locations.

As shale gas extractions become more endemic, environmental cleanup expenses are rising as a result of increasing run off, drainage, and spills from much older locations.

These problems are not coming from the drilling projects themselves. They were caused by earlier problems... and are now being released again by fracking.

What Lies Ahead

The costs from these four problems, and a number of others, are not presently factored into any of the analyses done on shale gas impact. That always becomes a ready recipe for economic disappointment.

We need to develop a balanced view of the economic potential and impact. Otherwise, policy approaches to rectify the situation are hardly possible. That is not possible until we have a clearer view of the downside from drilling.

One other consideration to keep in mind is this. By clarifying the downside, we are able to focus on remedies.

And those usually produce new investment opportunities.

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2012/11/14/the-path-to-energy-...

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2012 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife