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?

Let's put the latest numbers of Barnett Shale Production from October 2011 in perspective:

 Tarrant County is still a runaway No. 1 in natural gas production among Texas' 254 counties, according to the latest data released by the Texas Railroad Commssion, the chief regulator of the state's oil and gas industry. Tarrant's gas output was 62.2 billion cubic feet in October, the latest month for which data is available. Johnson County, Tarrant's neighbor to the south, is No. 2, at 39.4 billion cubic feet. Denton County is No. 4, at 19.7 billion, while Wise County is No. 5, at 19.2 billion. All four counties are on the list because they are leaders in production from North Texas' natural gas-rich Barnett Shale. Prior to the Barnett play, Tarrant County's production historically had been nil.

More interesting comment from AJ Lucas ahead of their restart of today's trading after a seven month suspension, during which their stake in Cuadrilla is turning into a very interesting play.  On one hand, one can't expect them to talk the story any way but up,  but their spin is interesting nevertheless:

 Lucas's crown jewel is an effective 56 per cent interest in the Bowland prospect near Blackpool in Britain via a 25 per cent direct stake and a 42 per cent holding in Cuadrilla, which since its drilling results at the Preece Hall 1 well may hold the key to a new phase in the British gas supply industry.

A key objection of the UK's Tyndall Centre report on shale gas depends on a key misunderstanding about the impact of gas on electricity generation. Gas is not the enemy of renewables. In fact, current renewable solar and wind tech just won't work without gas as back up.  In that sense,  plentiful gas, which naturally becomes both physically secure and not open to price spikes, enables renewables.  But the Tyndall Centre doesn't see it that way: