NYT: Marcellus Fracking Has Markings of Ponzi Scheme

Ian Urbina reports in The New York Times that gas companies may be overstating the productivity of their wells and the size of their reserves in order to lure investors, with one drilling research firm even referring to shale drilling investments as “giant ponzi schemes.” The result could be more wells, and more environmental damage. “If shale gas wells fade faster than expected, energy companies will have to drill more wells or hydrofrack them more often, resulting in more toxic waste.’

Meanwhile, Associated Press writer Kevin Begos covers the growing interest by sportsmen’s groups in the potential problems with fracking, particularly in the Marcellus shale in the eastern US. “There has been considerable public debate over how and if fracking impacts drinking water supplies, but Dufalla and other sportsmen are worried that even low concentrations of fracking chemicals may affect aquatic invertebrates — the tiny water bugs that grow into mayflies and stoneflies, which are in turn eaten by fish and birds.”

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  • Midglon

    I am sick of this! The only way frac fluids escape at or near the surface is if they are handled carelessly either prior to injecting or when they are.withdrawn. So just as with many other useful chemicals there must be regulations and they must be carefully handled. And the additives to the water that makes up frac fluids are largely surfactants (look it up) and are not harmful anyway.
    And there is no way that the responsible producers are running anything like Ponzi schemes. They are required by law and by their lenders to estimate reserves as accurately as possible and their reserve calculations are independently checked.

  • howardolee

    Just remember that anything that comes from the NYT or AP is strictly left wing propaganda.  The environuts are doing everything they can to destroy the energy industry in America.  Obama and his EPA Gestapo are one of America’s greatest enemies–many times worse than terrorism.

  • Gofishinor

    It is time for the miners and drillers to start paying for all the damage that has been done by their safe handling of chemicals and machines etc.

  • Responsibledevelopment

    To the person who thinks that creating 5-10 yr jobs is worth a lifetime of polluted water and the cost of repair of roads, an to attempt to clean up the environment.  I encourage you to go to Garfield County, CO.  I encourage you to go to other towns that had rapid unsustainable growth to accommodate boom bust cyles of drilling and to see the devastating consequences of unrestricted and under-managed drilling practices in other states.  It is not a scare tactic.  I like propane, but not at the expense of clean air and clean water. and ultimately a rise in my taxes to clean it all up.  By the way who pays for the increased need for police, school and other public infrastructures with the rapid influx of out of  state workers?