Shale Continues to Bewitch Big Energy Users

September 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

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Oil pumps operate near Lost Hills, Calif., on Aug. 4.
Associated Press

Hopping onto the shale gas bandwagon is high on the agenda for just about everyone.

The U.S., which has led the way in developing hydraulic fracturing technology, and in sheer scale of shale exploration, has transformed itself from one of the world’s main fossil fuel consumers to a potential exporter.

Watching that hasn’t been easy—especially for places like Europe, which backed renewable energy.

Fast-developing nations, driving much of the world’s growth, might well cast envious looks at large reserves of cheap, local hydrocarbons.

The latest news comes from India, where the federal cabinet is considering a plan Tuesday to explore for shale.

The plan is to allow two state-backed companies—Oil Natural Gas Corp. and Oil India Ltd.—to drill and frack blocks already allocated to them.

The government says it will then open up shale exploration to private companies.  It might be a case of wait-and-see. There have been plenty of delays even in this preliminary stage.

India imports three-quarters of the energy it consumes. It wants to cut that by half in the next seven years, and thinks shale could be one way to do so. It has an estimated 63 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale-gas, though drillers point out that before any test wells have been drilled, it is impossible to know how much will eventually be extracted.


North Korea is inching closer to full nuclear capability.

A new U.S. study has found that the insular country may be able to forge machinery necessary to process uranium for nuclear weapons.

The study found Pyongyang can now make gas centrifuges used to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels without importing the main components, writes The Wall Street Journal’s Alistair Gale.

The study, by two scientists at  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, looked at a range of evidence, from photographs to media reports. If the North can make all the parts it needs for nuclear weapons in-house, then sanctions that sought to stop its program will be less effective.

This timeline shows just how long Pyongyang’s nuclear program has been a global tension point.


Crude oil continued its downward trajectory Tuesday, falling ahead of talks over Iran’s nuclear weapons at the annual United Nations General Assembly. The latest market comment can be read here.

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