Frackonomist gets facts wrong about oil production

Keith Halliday's Dec. 5 column, which ran with the glib title "Love it or hate it, fracking is here to stay" starts off with invented data to hype up fracking. "Since 2010, oil and gas production in th

Keith Halliday’s Dec. 5 column, which ran with the glib title “Love it or hate it, fracking is here to stay” starts off with invented data to hype up fracking.

“Since 2010, oil and gas production in the U.S. has gone from a bit over four million barrels a day in oil equivalent to 12 million a day as of September. This is according to the Wall Street Journal and U.S. Energy Information Administration, and is largely due to surges in fracked oil and gas production.”

The EIA in their latest overview report an overall U.S. production rise since 2010 of about daily 20 million barrels of oil equivalent, not Halliday’s five-fold distortion of four million, comprised of 9.7 million barrels oil daily plus 21.3 trillion cubic feet natural gas annually.

The energy in the equivalent of a barrel of oil (crude plus other extracted petroleum liquids), or 42 U.S. gallons, or 35 imperial gallons, or 159 litres, is equal to 1.7 megawatt hours. That’s about one-third of a cord of wood or 6,000 cubic feet of natural gas.

U.S. production of natural gas is equal to about 10 million barrels daily, which together with close to 10 million barrels of oil added up to 20 million barrels in 2011, and to over 24 million barrels daily for 2013.

Halliday’s tabloidstyle try with four million barrels in 2010 to hype perception of frack production is not a typo. He also hides that conventional oil-and-gas production in North America remains the economic feedstock and energy backbone. And that the recently arrived high-intensity fracking standard needs ruinous and ever-increasing subsidies because it has no useful net energy output (similar to debt-increasing and future-job-killing tar-sands steam extraction).

Hence the International Energy Agency reports in its 2013 World Energy Outlook: “The Middle East, the only large source of low-cost oil, remains at the centre of the longer-term oil outlook.

Another nice story in Halliday’s column does not check out: “The U.S., as well as British Columbia, are now feverishly working on facilities to export North America’s gas glut to other countries where gas prices can be two or three times higher.”

He must have seen but doesn’t mention the EIA’s forecast which by 2020 sees U.S. oil production decreasing and imports at around 30 per cent as far as they look, 2035. Shale resources, as the basis of LNG, have been plagued with reserve swindles. Also most of the frack expansion infrastructure such as pipelines, LNG terminals and plants were stalled out before the oil price drop because of investors pulling back.

Matthias Bichsel, a former project and technology director at Shell, put it this way in 2013: “The United States oil and gas industry has ‘overfracked and overdrilled.’”

Seasoned oil-and-gas industrialists like Art Berman and analysts like Deborah Rogers state clearly fracking is more energy waste and investment fraud than resource production.

Rather than responsible oil-and-gas production, the frack hype aims at drilling into pension funds and fracking for media releases, and Halliday delivers.

Peter Becker


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In a Feb. 17 statement, the City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology used for emergency response. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Three words could make all the difference in an emergency

City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology

Jesse Whelen, Blood Ties Four Directions harm reduction councillor, demonstrates how the organization tests for fentanyl in drugs in Whitehorse on May 12, 2020. The Yukon Coroner’s Service has confirmed three drug overdose deaths and one probable overdose death since mid-January. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three overdose deaths caused by “varying levels of cocaine and fentanyl,” coroner says

Heather Jones says overdoses continue to take lives at an “alarming rate”

Wyatt's World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Approximately 30 Yukoners protest for justice outside the Whitehorse courthouse on Feb. 22, while a preliminary assault hearing takes place inside. The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, based in Watson Lake, put out a call to action over the weekend. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Courthouse rally denounces violence against Indigenous women

The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society put out a call to action

The now empty lot at 410 Cook Street in Whitehorse on January 19. As developers move forward with plans for a housing development that would feature 16 micro-units, they are asking city council for a zoning change that would reduce the number of required parking spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Parking problems predicted

Zoning amendment would create more on-street parking issues, residents say

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18.	(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

History Hunter: Kwanlin Dün — a book of history, hardship and hope

Dǎ Kwǎndur Ghày Ghàkwadîndur: Our Story in Our Words is published by… Continue reading

Most Read