Shale gas seems to be the flavor of this weekend wherever one looks. If the Wall Steet Journal did an editorial defending fracking, the New York Times continued its superb Drilling Down series on shale gas with a piece questioning if the industry was another bubble in the making.
The WSJ editorial was a great point-wise rebuttal of the major advocacy efforts against fracking, while still highlighting the need for industry to be extra-vigilant on safety and environmental risks. It was refreshing to see an editorial focus on facts versus unsubstantiated opinion. The NY Times article — based on a ~450-page archive of emails and documents — highlighted concerns around decline curves, asset valuations, economics, and the hype-driven transactional activity.
Shale gas in North America is a nascent yet dynamic industrial enterprise. It is too early to make calls around a number of uncertainties although they do provide stakeholders — companies, service providers, investors, and regulators — with a framework to evaluate and address these plans.