July 22, 2014
Fracking appears to have been a major success in the US, but are the industry claims consistent with the facts?
And as fracking companies look to expand their operations into Europe and Asia, are they really giving decision-makers and the general public the full economic and environmental story?
1. The fracking boom is temporary
Despite promising decades of continuing economic benefits, a peak in US shale oil production is likely to be reached this decade. Once the peak in production is reached, sharp year-on-year declines are to be expected.
2. The economic case is dwindling
Remember the tech bubble? Well, the fracking industry is beginning to show very similar signs. Already there is a heavy reliance on debt, with revenues from production failing to cover operating costs. Early investors may well have profited, but the returns for later investors look set to be far less rosy.