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


Just Posted

Sarah Walz leads a softball training session in Dawson City. Photo submitted by Sport Yukon.
Girls and women are underserved in sport: Sport Yukon

Sport Yukon held a virtual event to celebrate and discuss girls and women in sport

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Bagged meter fees could be discounted for patios

Council passes first reading at special meeting

The Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell is among a number of sites that are expected to make more commercial/industrial land available in the coming years. (Submitted)
Council hears update on commercial land

Number of developments expected to make land available in near future

keith halliday
Yukonomist: Have I got an opportunity for you!

Are you tired of the same-old, same-old at work? Would you like to be a captain of industry, surveying your domain from your helicopter and enjoying steak dinners with influential government officials at the high-profile Roundup mining conference?

Clouds pass by the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Friday, June 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Yukon government, B.C. company want Supreme Court of Canada appeal of Wolverine Mine case

Government concerned with recouping cleanup costs, creditor wants review of receiver’s actions.

The Village of Carmacks has received federal funding for an updated asset management plan. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Federal funding coming to Carmacks

The program is aimed at helping municipalities improve planning and decision-making around infrastructure

Paddlers start their 715 kilometre paddling journey from Rotary Park in Whitehorse on June 26, 2019. The 2021 Yukon River Quest will have a different look. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
The 22nd annual Yukon River Quest moves closer to start date

Although the race will be modified in 2021, a field of 48 teams are prepared to take the 715 kilometre journey from Whitehorse to Dawson City on the Yukon River

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its June 7 meeting

Letters to the editor.
This week’s mailbox: the impact of residential schools, Whitehorse Connects, wildfires

Dear Editor; Anguish – extreme pain, distress or anxiety. Justice – the… Continue reading

PROOF CEO Ben Sanders is seen with the PROOF team in Whitehorse. (Submitted)
Proof and Yukon Soaps listed as semifinalists for national award

The two companies were shortlisted from more than 400 nominated

The RCMP Critical Incident Program will be training in Watson Lake from June 14-16. Mike Thomas/Yukon News
RCMP will conduct three days of training in Watson Lake

Lakeview Apartment in Watson Lake will be used for RCMP training

John Tonin/Yukon News Squash players duke it out during Yukon Open tournament action at Better Bodies on June 5.
Four division titles earned at squash Yukon Open

The territory’s squash talent was on full display at the 2021 Yukon Open

Most Read