Shale Oil Revolution A Symptom Of Broken Energy Policy

Faster consumption + no strategy = diminished prospects.

Here in the opening month of 2019, as the US consumes itself with hot debate over a border wall, far more important topics are being ignored completely.

Take US energy policy. In the US press and political circles, there’s nothing but crickets sounding when it comes to serious analysis or any sort of sustainable long-term plan.

Once you understand the role of energy in everything, you can begin to appreciate why there's simply nothing more important to get right.

Energy is at the root of everything. If you have sufficient energy, anything is possible. But without it, everything grinds to a halt.

For several decades now the US has been getting its energy policy very badly wrong.It's so short-sighted, and rely so heavily on techno-optimism, that it barely deserves to be called a 'policy' at all. 

Which is why we predict that in the not-too-distant future, this failure to plan will attack like a hungry wolfpack to bite down hard on the US economy’s hamstrings and drag it to the ground.

Shale Oil Snafu

America's energy policy blunders are nowhere more obvious than in the shale oil space, where it's finally dawning on folks that these wells are going to produce a lot less than advertised.

Vindicating our own reports -- which drew from the excellent work of Art Berman, David Hughes and Enno Peters’ excellent website -- the WSJ finally ran the numbers and discovered that shale wells are not producing nearly as much oil as the operators had claimed they were going to produce:

Fracking’s Secret Problem—Oil Wells Aren’t Producing as Much as Forecast

Jan 2, 2019

Thousands of shale wells drilled in the last five years are pumping less oil and gas than their owners forecast to investors, raising questions about the strength and profitability of the fracking boom that turned the U.S. into an oil superpower.

(Source)

The main conclusion of this analysis is that US shale producers have overstated their well output by 10% collectively. And as much as 50% for certain individual companies.

These numbers are easy to collect and analyze. While it’s a great thing to finally have the WSJ show up here, many years later than the independent analysts cited above, they still didn't get close to the actual truth.

In actuality, the shale plays are going to produce roughly half of what is currently claimed by shale operators.Instead of a -10% collective hit to production, we should be ready for something closer to -50%.

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