Drilling DownWidespread Skepticism
Articles in this series will examine the risks of natural gas drilling and efforts to regulate this rapidly growing industry.
The latest installment in the concerted NYT attack on the shale gas industry is based on anonymous leaks from some dissatisfied employees in the Energy Information Administration:
In its annual forecasting reports, the United States Energy Information Administration, a division of the Energy Department, has steadily increased its estimates of domestic supplies of natural gas, and investors and the oil and gas industry have repeated them widely to make their case about a prosperous future.
But not everyone in the Energy Information Administration agrees. In scores of internal e-mails and documents, officials within the Energy Information Administration, or E.I.A., voice skepticism about the shale gas industry.
One official says the shale industry may be “ up for failure” .“It is quite likely that many of these companies will go bankrupt,” a senior adviser to the Energy Information Administration set predicts. Several officials echo concerns raised during previous bubbles, in housing and in technology stocks, for example,
In order to appear "objective", the paper allows, at the very end of the article, a spokesperson for E.I.A. say a couple of words in defense of its policy:
Asked about the views expressed in the internal e-mails, Mr. Schaal says his administration has been very explicit in acknowledging the uncertainties surrounding shale gas development.
He said news reports and company presentations were included among a range of information sources used in Energy Information Administration studies. Though the administration depends on contractors with specialized expertise, he added, it conforms with all relevant federal rules.
And while production from shale gas has not slowed down and may not any time soon, he said, a lively debate continues within the administration about shale gas prospects.
Read the entire NYT article here
Christopher Helman, writing in Forbes, has a good comment to the New York Times shale gas coverage here
Diana Furchtgott-Rot´s comment is also worth reading