The NYT final story of 2011 on shale is a bit worrying. Shale goes international and Ian Urbina's exaggeration and mis-information follows.
South Africa is among the growing number of countries that want to unlock previously inaccessible natural gas reserves trapped in shale deep underground. The drilling technology — hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” for short — holds the promise of generating new revenue through taxes on the gas, creating thousands of jobs for one of the country’s poorest regions, and fueling power plants to provide electricity to roughly 10 million South Africans who live without it.
I'm not South African, but permit me to ask a question: Where were all these (white) farmers protests during the battle against apartheid?
I have done several posts here on SA shale that point out that something stinks here. Landowners like Princess Irene of the Netherlands and the richest guy in South Africa Johann Rupert are fighting shale and they have deep pockets.
Meanwhile the Times, which has published positive piece on international shale before, accentuates the negative this time around.
Shale gas in Poland may represent more than a third of the natural gas resources in Europe, according to energy experts, and could help the country reduce its dependence on Russia, which now supplies about 60 percent of Poland’s gas.
But an April 2010 report by Bernstein Research, a market research group, raised concerns about the costs and risks of shale gas drilling because Poland is so densely populated, dependent on agriculture and farmers will have to compete with drillers for water.
“Europe and some of the countries with shale potential have significantly less renewable water resources than the U.S.,” the report warned.
Bernstein strikes again. I've answered their objections to shale plenty of times before, most recently here.
Bernstein's take is to protect the larger amount of money in Gazprom and other investments. Follow the money, in South Africa and elsewhere.