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The Shale Revolution's Shifting Geopolitics
The New York Times ^ | December 25, 2012 | Alan Riley

Posted on 12/25/2012 12:51:27 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

The shale energy revolution is likely to shift the tectonic plates of global power in ways that are largely beneficial to the West and reinforce U.S. power and influence during the first half of this century. Yet most public discussion of shale’s potential either focuses on the alleged environmental dangers of fracking or on how shale will affect the market price of natural gas. Both discussions blind policy makers to the true scale of the shale revolution.

The real impact stems from its effect on the oil market. Shale gas offers the means to vastly increase the supply of fossil fuels for transportation, which will cut into the rising demand for oil — fueled in part by China’s economic growth — that has dominated energy policy making over the last decade.

There are two major factors in play here. First, the same shale extraction technology of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing can be employed whether the rocks are oil-bearing or gas-bearing. We have already seen over half a million barrels of oil a day flowing from the Bakken field in North Dakota. The recent Harvard-based Belfer Center report — “Oil: The Next Revolution” — suggests that shale oil could be providing America with as much as 6 million barrels a day by 2020. The United States imported only 11 million barrels of crude oil a day in 2011. Given the potential for offshore and conventional domestic oil production, this would suggest that by 2020 America could be near energy independence in oil...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: china; energy; fracking; northdakota; oil; oilgas; shale; shalegas

1 posted on 12/25/2012 12:51:32 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Palin was correct.


2 posted on 12/25/2012 12:56:32 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: Paladin2

We should be extracting any and all energy we can. Palin WAS right.


3 posted on 12/25/2012 1:03:37 PM PST by rlmorel (1793 French Jacobins and 2012 American Liberals have a lot in common.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

New York Slimes


4 posted on 12/25/2012 1:04:11 PM PST by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

China’s still eating our coal...time to jack up the prices..oh wait...Obama’s closing coal plants left & right...which means coal mines are closing in record numbers....idiot.

nevermind.


5 posted on 12/25/2012 1:07:13 PM PST by stylin19a (obama -> Fredo smart)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; All

I read somewhere that we have about a hundred year supply of shale fuel. So should we try to extract it as fast as possible to keep prices low, or should we pay a little more so it lasts longer for our grandchildren and their families and develop renewable sources with all deliberate speed? Opinion Poll.


6 posted on 12/25/2012 1:26:37 PM PST by gleeaikin
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Yes. the size of the shale revolution is as big as the initial drilling at spindle top texas. Its also as economically and geo strategically significant as the OPEC embargoes of the 70’s and the decline of US oil production.

The last paragraph says this:

Geopolitically, the shale revolution strengthens the United States, reduces China’s energy dependence, generates a major global stimulus, which takes the Western economies off the fiscal rocks, while potentially destabilizing both the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia. We must continue to press ahead with it.


7 posted on 12/25/2012 1:29:55 PM PST by ckilmer
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Very, very nice!

The best part is it irritates the hell out of

the 1960s Marxist-Alinsky campus radical, psycho spoiled brats who were celebrated in the establishment MSM as the most intelligent generation ever!. They are now arguably that very establishment that praised them and they hold themselves and their ideological issue in even higher regard.

They include the ruling class New Normal: Ayers, Clintons, Obamas.

They had put a substantial bunch of their eggs into the "renewable energy" flimflam basket to help them "Bring it all down, man."

8 posted on 12/25/2012 1:29:58 PM PST by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: Paladin2

drill baby drill!!!

the trick is to keep the momentum going and tell the EPA to take a hike.


9 posted on 12/25/2012 1:36:18 PM PST by Kolath
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To: ckilmer

I wonder if they are also fracking in the old Teapot Dome area.


10 posted on 12/25/2012 1:39:11 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
By contrast, the outlook for Russia and Saudi Arabia seems bleak. As the decade progresses, shale will be developed worldwide and natural gas infrastructures will be constructed. It is difficult to see how the markets will avoid dropping oil prices.

I think that the author is wrong about this. Russia has a shale formation that is - get this - EIGHTY TIMES the size of the Bakken Play. It's called the Bazhenov Formation. It's located in western Siberia and the area is already criss-crossed with gas pipelines.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2012/06/04/bakken-bazhenov-shale-oil/

11 posted on 12/25/2012 1:44:39 PM PST by Gluteus Maximus
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
We have already seen over half a million barrels of oil a day flowing from the Bakken field in North Dakota.

NYT gets it wrong again....

It was 500,000 barrels of oil at the start of 2012

Now it's 750,000 barrels of oil a day...and expected to top 1 million barrels a day by the end of 2013.

In other news...the Green River Formation holds an estimated 3 trillion barrels with 1 trillion recoverable with today's technology.

As a footnote...1 trillion barrels is about equal to the rest of the worlds known reserves.

12 posted on 12/25/2012 2:15:42 PM PST by spokeshave (The only people better off today than 4 years ago are the Prisoners at Guantanamo.)
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To: spokeshave

Apart from all the high paying jobs in ND...the oil/gas boom (no pun intended) is creating $millionaires at a rate of 2000 a year.


13 posted on 12/25/2012 2:19:19 PM PST by spokeshave (The only people better off today than 4 years ago are the Prisoners at Guantanamo.)
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To: Gluteus Maximus

Every major oil producing basin has somewhere within it a world class source rock. Some, like in the Gulf of Mexico, are too deep and plastic to be considered viable. I am still waiting for announcements from the Middle East, North Africa, and South America about source rock plays. From what I have heard, the Vaca Muerta in Argentina is not living up to expectations and it has an obvious geopolitical risk. It is like gold mining. For all the placer deposits out there, one can only dream of the Mother Lode.


14 posted on 12/25/2012 3:01:54 PM PST by crusty old prospector
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

save for later


15 posted on 12/25/2012 3:02:40 PM PST by Gay State Conservative (When Robbing Peter To Pay Paul,One Can Always Count On Paul's Cooperation)
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To: Gluteus Maximus

Could that be related to their belief in the abiotic oil hypothesis?


16 posted on 12/25/2012 3:22:50 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (I'll raise $2million for Sarah Palin's presidential run. What'll you do?)
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To: gleeaikin
I read somewhere that we have about a hundred year supply of shale fuel. So should we try to extract it as fast as possible to keep prices low, or should we pay a little more so it lasts longer for our grandchildren and their families and develop renewable sources with all deliberate speed?

Eat your dessert first, life is uncertain.

Seriously, mankind adapts. Using your argument, we should have conserved whale oil for our lighting needs. There is always another technology or cultural adaptation down the road, always has been, always will be.

17 posted on 12/25/2012 4:07:38 PM PST by SandwicheGuy (*The butter acts as a lubricant and speeds up the CPU*ou)
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To: gleeaikin

Drill, baby, drill. You information comes from the same people that said peak oil is here and we would run out of oil in just a few years.


18 posted on 12/25/2012 4:28:42 PM PST by Kent1957
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To: gleeaikin
Please. No one now alive can even conceive of what the world will be like 100 years from now. Odds are, oil will sit abandoned in the ground because market forces will have driven innovation which we cannot even imagine today.
19 posted on 12/25/2012 5:07:30 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: Gluteus Maximus
I believe you are right, not only about Russia but Europe as well. The fact is that globally we have just scratched the surface of shale gas/oil deposits. The possibility exists that at some point, energy will become such a cheap commodity that it no longer will drive events. Water may take its place.

Who really knows--but this is no time for shortsightedness.

20 posted on 12/25/2012 5:15:09 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: hinckley buzzard

I talked to an executive of a company that manufactures equipment used in fracking. He indicated the future overseas would be huge, not Europe of course because of the green nazis, but thought Russia would be really big.


21 posted on 12/25/2012 5:18:41 PM PST by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: gleeaikin

100years to conservative

40 years ago when i graduated inpetroleum engineering i was told that we would run out of oil and gas in 10 years and i would have to look for another job.

since then, the world has produced several times the amount of oil and gas reserves, and resrves are at the highest level ever.

God gave us abundant resources and all we have to do is intelligently exploit them.

a thousand years from now there will still be plently of hydrocarbons.


22 posted on 12/25/2012 5:22:54 PM PST by bestintxas (Anyone who votes for Obama after these 4 miserable years needs to take a mandatory citizenship test.)
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To: gleeaikin
So should we try to extract it as fast as possible to keep prices low, or should we pay a little more so it lasts longer for our grandchildren and their families and develop renewable sources with all deliberate speed?

Here's my opinion, and it's based on many (many, many) deployments throughout the middle east. With one or two exceptions, the governments in the middle east are funded by petro-dollars. The vast majority of the graduates in their (so-called) institutes of higher education are concentrated around petroleum engineering, hoping for that lucrative government job. If America, and the west as a whole, start reducing their dependence on middle east oil in a BIG way OPEC would become a footnote in history. Additionally, I believe (just me, mind you) that some of the middle east governments are making "blood payments" to the terrorist groups, hoping to keep them out of their respective countries. With a loss of the petro-dollars, they would be forced to deal with their home-grown terrorist on their own soil.

23 posted on 12/25/2012 5:46:10 PM PST by Traveler59 ( Truth is a journey, not a destination.)
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To: Traveler59
If America, and the west as a whole, start reducing their dependence on middle east oil in a BIG way OPEC would become a footnote in history. Additionally, I believe (just me, mind you) that some of the middle east governments are making "blood payments" to the terrorist groups, hoping to keep them out of their respective countries. With a loss of the petro-dollars, they would be forced to deal with their home-grown terrorist on their own soil.

I think it is far more likely that even larger deposits of shale oil and gas will be discovered in the middle east than in the US.

The large recoverable resources in the US will give us a window of opportunity to break OPEC's grip on supply, but we will have to follow up with long term contracts for the cheap oil and gas the middle east can supply.

From a strategic standpoint, I would prefer to keep the US supply in the ground and available for future use in a time of need, while we burn oil from the islamic states that hate us. Essentially, deplete their resources first and never allow them to form a cartel again.

The developing situation just begs for negotiations with a broken OPEC remnant that can be enforced with sovereign might over the course of a century or more.

24 posted on 12/25/2012 6:14:40 PM PST by CurlyDave
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This will bring a war here between the parasite class (in DC) and the producer class. Lets see what new anti fracking regs the affirmative action fools at EPA come up with in 2013 now that we have OBAMA UNCHAINED!!!

NY State already has banned fracking, at least temporarily
http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/NaturalGas/6712230


25 posted on 12/25/2012 6:25:31 PM PST by dennisw (The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything -- Buddhist monk)
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To: CurlyDave; thackney

I defer to fellow Freeper thackney on this, but I believe we have been given a “window of opportunity” where we possess a technology not yet in use in the rest of the world. In any other generation, we would have made good use of it. Today, I don’t think so.


26 posted on 12/25/2012 6:49:16 PM PST by henkster ("The people who count the votes decide everything." -Joseph Stalin)
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To: Paladin2

Yes she was, but the pro-communist snitches and traitors who are incompetent and in power would not have of it.


27 posted on 12/25/2012 7:45:14 PM PST by lavaroise
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To: Paladin2

You mean Spindle Top in East Texas.

I have not heard anything specific about that—but what I hear is that the original drilling only took about 30% of the oil that was available. That all the original formations were surrounded by tightrock formation—that the early tech couldn’t touch—but that current tech allows them to drill,


28 posted on 12/25/2012 8:17:27 PM PST by ckilmer
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To: Traveler59; no-to-illegals; All

My son is currently serving his second tour in Afghanistan, and I think he would totally agree with you. His first deployment was in 2006, and when he arrived there again this fall his first message to me was, “We should not spend one more dime, or one more life in this place.”

It concerns me that many FReepers feel the big solution is to DRILL, DRILL, DRILL. There seems to be a lack of understanding that it takes about 10 years to get all that drilling in place delivering oil, then you have to increase refining capacity which is also a long term investment of time and money. It is a lot quicker to combine conservation, and renewable sources. With that and our new shale deposits, we could really reduce our need for OPEC oil. On the other hand, I am sure that Chinese and Indian need will cause them to increase/continue their involvement with OPEC and might not bring about the desirable results mentioned in your last sentences.


29 posted on 12/25/2012 8:36:59 PM PST by gleeaikin
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To: CurlyDave; All

I hope the DRILL, DRILL, DRILL folks read this and think about it carefully.


30 posted on 12/25/2012 8:48:24 PM PST by gleeaikin
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To: spokeshave; All

I just did a quick calculation using that $1 trillion figure divided by 10 million barrels a day US need (presuming that in a few years we can reduce our need slightly with electric cars and higher fuel standards among other things). This gave me a figure of about 274 years supply with the current technology. This of course assumes we don’t leave it in the ground. I agree with another poster here that we should use a fair bit of other peoples’ oil and gas if we can (at economically sound prices) and save ours for later.


31 posted on 12/25/2012 8:59:12 PM PST by gleeaikin
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To: Gluteus Maximus; 2ndDivisionVet; Traveler59; All

I checked out your link and then decided to seek some other information. At a June 2012 posting I found this information on the Bazhenov formation. I think the site was The Oil Drum, a professional site for oil people.

“Everyone has heard about the Bakken shale, the huge expanse of oil-bearing rock underneath North Dakota and Montana that billionaire Harold Hamm thinks could yield 24 billion barrels of oil in the decades to come. The Bakken is a huge boon, both to the economic health of the northern Plains states, but also to the petroleum balance of the United States. From just 60,000 barrels per day five years ago, the Bakken is now giving up 500,000 bpd, with 210,000 bpd of that coming on in just the past year. Given the availability of enough rigs to drill it and crews to frack it, there’s no reason why the Bakken couldn’t be producing more than 1 million bpd by the end of the decade, a level that could be maintained for halfway through the century.
But as great as the Bakken is, I learned last week about another oil shale play that dwarfs it. It’s called The Bazhenov. It’s in Western Siberia, in Russia. And while the Bakken is big, the Bazhenov — according to a report last week by Sanford Bernstein’s lead international oil analyst Oswald Clint — “covers 2.3 million square kilometers or 570 million acres, which is the size of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico combined.” This is 80 times bigger than the Bakken.”

The interesting point here is that the AREA of the Bazhenov site is 80 times the SIZE of the Bakken. However, this does NOT mean that the amount of reserves is 80 times. That is effected by thickness of sites, total penetration of areas, and extractability of the existing sources. We need more information of that type before we get too excited. Still, it is a very large area, and worthy of a lot more consideration.


32 posted on 12/25/2012 10:10:06 PM PST by gleeaikin
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To: henkster

Not just technology but property rights is a huge factor in shale oil revolution in the U.S.


33 posted on 12/25/2012 10:41:58 PM PST by MinorityRepublican
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To: Gluteus Maximus; 2ndDivisionVet; crusty old prospector; Traveler59; hinckley buzzard; gleeaikin
By contrast, the outlook for Russia and Saudi Arabia seems bleak. As the decade progresses, shale will be developed worldwide and natural gas infrastructures will be constructed. It is difficult to see how the markets will avoid dropping oil

I think you are misreading this.

The important fact is the dropping oil prices. It is not that Russia and Saudi Arabia will not be able to sell oil or that they will not be big players in the oil and gas market. But they will become smaller players as the number of exporting nations grows.

Presently both Russia and Saudi Arabia are THE big players and enjoy high prices for crude that permits them to have export trade surpluses and flush bank accounts. (It allows Saudi princes to export Islam and terrorism. It allows Russia to blackmail former Soviet client states with the cut off of fuel)

With falling oil prices would mean leaner bank accounts, small state budgets and less geopolitical clout. OPEC will loose control of world oil prices and their production quotas will become meaningless (more so).

34 posted on 12/26/2012 1:45:30 AM PST by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: gleeaikin
There seems to be a lack of understanding that it takes about 10 years to get all that drilling in place delivering oil, then you have to increase refining capacity which is also a long term investment of time and money.

And we've been hearing that sh*t from the left for over twenty years. If we'd shut them up back then, the infrastructure would be in place and producing now.

35 posted on 12/26/2012 10:56:18 AM PST by uglybiker (nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-BATMAN!)
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To: gleeaikin

No doubt we’ll find many deposits and perhaps invent other energy sources in the next 274 years.


36 posted on 12/26/2012 3:52:15 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (I'll raise $2million for Sarah Palin's presidential run. What'll you do?)
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To: gleeaikin
"I read somewhere that we have about a hundred year supply of shale fuel."

Note that we have a limitless - yes LIMIT-LESS - supply of oil across the entire world. Many old oil wells that were capped off - because the wells were supposedly 'dry' - have been found to be full of oil again. The mayor of Long Beach was told about and shown one old well that proved to be full again... he was stopped from pumping that readily available oil - by federal policy.

The reason is quite simple. Oil is NOT 'fossil fuel' that will someday be gone. The earths crust sits atop an enormous layer of methane gas. That gas leaks up into the crust and forms oil as it mixes with material in the crust.

For decades we've been sold the bill-of-goods that the supply of oil is limited (it's fossil related) when it is not. The Russians figured that out long ago, they call oil an a-biotic substance (no dead animals down there 2-4000 feet below the surface - how could there be?)

For the religious among us, why would God not make provision for near limitless fuel? After all, scripture says the world is set to last more than a thousand more years - and will need lots more oil.

Not long ago we saw pictures of oil gushing back into a recently 'emptied' oil well in the Gulf - once again proving the a-biotic nature of oil.

37 posted on 12/26/2012 4:45:01 PM PST by Ron C.
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