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Oil-Prone Shale Plays: The Illusion of Energy Independence

January 15, 2013
Petroleum geologist Arthur Berman has been skeptical about the claims for shale gas production for years. Though he has many detractors, Berman claims that his conclusions are based on his review of actual production reports of thousands of wells and that for several years he has challenged his detractors to refute his research with real data. According to him, so far not one of his detractors has taken up the challenge.

Now he is taking aim at the shale oil play, focussing on the Bakken play in this presentation:

Oil-Prone Shale Plays: The Illusion of Energy Independence

Arthur E. Berman Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.

ASPO USA 2012 Conference Austin, Texas

But he's not the only person who is skeptical about the claims of the shale oil drillers. Now comes petroleum engineer Gary Swindell, who claims to have reviewed the production records of over 1,000 wells in the Eagle Ford play and presented his conclusions at a SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers) Annual Technical Conference and exhibition last October:

SPE 158207

Eagle Ford Shale - An Early Look at Ultimate Recovery

Gary S. Swindell, SPE

But why take the word of these guys? Here's the word straight from the horse's mouth, Exxon's Rex Tillerson, (referring to shale gas) as quoted in an article published at

Inside The Mind Of Rex Tillerson, Christopher Helman July 3, 2012

“What I can tell you is the cost to supply is not $2.50 [price of natural gas at the time of his remarks]. We are all losing our shirts today. You know, we’re making no money. It’s all in the red.”

And here's the direct link to Tillerson's remarks, given at the Council on Foreign Relations on June 27, 2012:

The New North American Energy Paradigm: Reshaping the Future

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LwC - 2 years ago
Attn. GuruFocus administrators: It is generally my practice to check my posts for mistakes or formatting issues after I post it. Imagine my surprise to see that immediately after I posted this one, it already had 65 ratings, even though the list showed only one reader (me).


[EDIT] Immediately after posting this comment, it showed 25 ratings.

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