Theoretically it makes sense (on the sense of “it doesn’t make no sense”). But this article quotes no papers and the single name (Elbert Branscomb) is from the Department of Energy. I’ll be skeptic about what do they really have.
It’s a two page writeup at the link.
Author writes ‘...So we’re looking at major consequences for foreign policy and defence policy. The palette of nations we feel comfortable with changes; and the nature of what we feel we have to defend changes, too. Anyone who has made the call for “energy independence” will be thrilled, since two-thirds of the energy we use comes from oil and gas. Shale gas, too, is a local resource for many countries, and is already changing geopolitical dynamics.
Secondly, it has major consequences for business and not just in nations who today bank on excavated hydrocarbons. The 10 largest companies in the world are all oil companies and all are privately owned.
Thirdly, it will bring about a fairly profound change in the political debate. Synthetic hydrocarbons are not some magic bullet that suddenly catapults society into a future of boundless prosperity, although they don’t half help. Everything has costs and consequences, and the sheer value of oil doesn’t change. In the short term, oil companies will be faced with large cleanup costs from conventional extraction...’
Privately owned companies don’t and don’t have to report to the public and the smarter ones don’t file for patents so to be sure to keep their secrets a secret. Even though algae converting stuff to synthetic fuels in no secret, the process is.
There could be an overnight sensation.