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Monday, November 11, 2013

Pamela Zuppo skewers Energy In Depth article on California fractivists

Energy In Depth has seen fit to post an article that is full of nonsense, aptly described in an as-yet in-moderation comment written by Pamela Zuppo:

from Pamela:

I couldn't resist commenting on the article [ is 100% replete with troll-type rhetoric, lacking any concrete facts:

The author might like to take a stroll to Kern county and report back. Indeed, the author should take a deep look at the American Lung Association's rating of California's failing air quality. See

And certainly, the author might like to balance his worn out rhetoric by talking with real people in the path of the rogue fracking maniacs. For instance, the author could contact Tom Frantz and take a tour of his property. Here's how to contact him:

Moving beyond profit over people, there's really not much profit to be gleaned from throwing toxic chemicals deep down into the Earth and then hydraulically reaching another couple of miles horizontally under homes, schools, hospitals, and senior living facilities. Don't take my word for it though, just ask Chevron and Shell. Here...I'll help with the author's research if he actually knows how to research:

Major oil and gas companies have a reputation for getting burnt by shale plays. Shell’s retiring CEO Peter Voser told the Financial Times earlier this month that investing $24 billion into North American unconventional oil and gas was one of the biggest regrets of his career. “Unconventionals did not exactly play out as planned,” Mr Voser said, referring partly to a $2.1 billion write-down Shell took in August related to difficulties turning a profit from shale wells. See:

Major oil and gas company Chevron tried drilling the Monterey and didn’t like what it found:

“Based on our drilling results, our view is that the oil has migrated out of the formation and is now found in pockets outside of the Monterey shale,” said Kurt Glaubitz, a spokesman for San Ramon, California-based Chevron Corp. (CVX), the second-biggest U.S. oil producer. “We don’t believe it’s going to compete for our investment.” See:

In the Monterey Shale play in California, independents have faced poor results as well. One such independent, Venoco, has tried to coax oil from the Monterey with over 2 dozen wells, investing $76 million in 2012 alone. Venoco held the second-highest amount of acreage in the Monterey, but its early wells proved “uneconomic” and it recently moved to sell off its holdings.

“To date, we have not seen material levels of production or reserves from the program and have, following the completion of the going private transaction, reduced our capital expenditures related to the project,” the company’s most recent annual SEC filing revealed. See:

That’s a far cry from the CEO’s 300-billion-barrel boast in 2010.

“The Monterey shale was supposed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but so far has not lived up to the hype,” Fadel Gheit, an oil and gas analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York, told Bloomberg.

Frustrated by poor results from fracking the Monterey shale, some companies have instead tried "acidizing," or injecting toxic and lethal hydroflouric and hydrochloric acid into wells to dissolve rocks and release oil, but to no avail. They’ve even explored mixing this acid process with fracking, using a process called an acid-frac that involves injecting hazardous acids into wells at extremely high pressures. See: and for the level of toxicity of these lethal acids, see: and

Some state regulators in California have begun to acknowledge the industry’s poor results. 

“None of the companies that have tried it so far have had significant success, and it doesn’t appear to be widespread,” Jason Marshall, the California Conservation Department's chief deputy director, told Bloomberg Businessweek.

So before the author rattles off worn and overused bullshit rhetoric, perhaps he should do some real research or stop writing misinformation.

My talking points are attributed to Sharon Kelly at DeSmogBlog:

Could California's Shale Oil Boom Be Just a Mirage?

by Sharon Kelly, DeSmogBlog, November 7, 2013

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