Deborah Rogers: The economics of fracking

Deborah Rogers – Founder of EnergyPolicyForum and critic of Fracking

Deborah Rogers is an expert in the economics of shale gas and an advisor to the Obama administration.  Speaking at the 2030 Vision conference in Carrick-on-Shannon this month, she made it clear that the shale gas industry in the US is now in deep trouble.  The basic reason for this is that initially it was assumed that shale gas wells would behave much like conventional wells (tapping into an underground reservoir of gas) with a lifetime of 20 years.  All production and cash projections were based on this assumption, which turned out to be hopelessly optimistic.  In fact, the average productive shale gas well has a lifetime of 3 – 5 years only.

Deborah Rogers at 2030 Vision conferenceBased on those initial projections, everyone jumped on the bandwagon and some leasing companies made fortunes. Drilling companies went into huge debt, encouraged by investment banks that made millions in fees.  Initially easily accessible gas was produced.  However, the wells started drying up far sooner than anticipated and the companies continued to drill more and more wells to meet their production targets, motivated by the cost of loans taken out.  They cannot stop, resulting in a glut of gas and the price has plummeted. The selling price of gas at present is roughly half the cost of production, so all shale gas companies are losing money.

“The whole thing doesn’t make sense”, said Ms Rogers.  “Many of the big players have written down their assets, including BP, Encana and Chesapeake. The Marcellus shale gas reserve estimates are down by 80%.  The recovery efficiency for the five major shale gas plays averages 6.5% compared with 75–80% for conventional gas fields.  The biggest companies, e.g. Exxon-Mobil, are now selling their assets.  Is the shale gas bubble soon going to deflate?”

“In the meantime, the drilling frenzy continues with collateral damage in the form of air pollution, ground water depletion, road damages and potential aquifer ruination”, she continued.  “This is immense and will only continue to rise as more and more wells need to be drilled. None of these impacts are at present covered financially by the gas companies – in other words, profits are to be privatized while costs and negative impacts will be borne by the people. “

“2030 Vision – The Future of Energy in Ireland” conference was organised by Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI) to look at the choices of energy sources that Ireland has to make in the future.  Speakers included Eamon Ryan, Leader of the Green Party, who gave an inspirational talk on the potential of renewable energy sources, in particular wind energy, to substitute for hydrocarbons.  The conference was part-funded by Leitrim County Council through the Agenda 21 programme.

Link to Deborah Roger’s presentation at 2030 Vision Conference: http://bit.ly/GJjt2Q

Profile of Deborah Rogers

Deb RogersDeborah Rogers lives in Texas, US. She has worked as a financial consultant for several major Wall Street firms, including Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney. Ms Rogers was appointed as a primary member to the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI), an advisory committee within the U.S. Department of Interior, in 2013 for a three year term. In May 2013, she was invited to testify before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. She was appointed in 2011 by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to a task force reviewing placement of air monitors in the Barnett Shale region in light of air quality concerns brought about by the natural gas operations in North Texas. In June of 2012, she was invited to speak in Rio de Janeiro at the International Society for Ecological Economics in conjunction with the United Nations Rio+20 world summit

2030 Vision – The Future of Energy in Ireland

 

2030 Vision logo small

Conference organised by Good Energies Alliance Ireland
19th September 2013, Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon

To all Public Representatives, Local Authorities, Environmental NGOs and Policy-Makers
As you know, energy is a very important topic for Ireland just now.  This conference offers a unique opportunity for you to consider the issues and discuss policy.
You will, we expect, find it most informative and valuable, full details below.

2030 Vision – Renewable Energy Sources vs Fossil Fuels?

This conference will examine some of the key issues around the choices Ireland has to make at this time.  
Key topics of discussion will include:
•         2030 – A different World, a different Vision
•         Sustainable Energies and Market Needs-Bridging the Gap
•         Wind Energy and Policy
•         The Economics of Unconventional Gas Development
Speakers include:

Deborah Rogers
Lecturer on shale gas economics throughout the U.S.  Member U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI), an advisory committee within the U.S. Department of Interior.  Founder of Energy Policy Forum, Fort Worth, Texas.

Eamon Ryan
Leader of Green Party, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources 2007-2011
David Taylor
Chairman Energy Institute in Ireland, former Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.
Matt Kennedy
Low Carbon Technologies Manager, SEAI
Maurice McCarthy
CEO, Organic Power Ltd. Cork
Aedín McLoughlin
Director, Good Energies Alliance Ireland
For profiles of speakers [click here]
 2030 Vision Conference
is directed at Public Representatives, Local Authority Members and Officials, and Decision-makers nationally to provide an overview of the choices facing Ireland as we move into a future that is very different and with huge implications for sustainable development.
 Conference Programme [click here]

Registration information

Thursday 19th September 2013, Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon
This conference is open to Public Representatives, Local Authority Members and Officials, local and national decision-makers and representatives of organisations interested in our Energy future.
Conference Delegate Fee: €120
Early Bird Fee (Before 1st September): €100

Special NGO delegate fee: €60

Each participant will be provided with a pack containing all information and lunch and refreshments are included.
To reserve a place please fill in the Registration Form (link below) and email to goodenergiesalliance@gmail.com
(payment is via Paypal, EFT, cheque or invoice).
 Registration Form, Payment Methods and Pro-forma Invoice [click here]
The Conference is part-funded by Leitrim County Council* and Department of Environment and Local Government under the Local Agenda 21 programme.

*The Department of Local Government & the Environment and Leitrim County Council wish to clarify that whereas they have agreed to partially fund the event, such funding assistance does not indicate endorsement or otherwise of the topics covered in the Conference.

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