- Multinational oil and gas companies are engaged in a quiet but broad attempt to prepare the groundwork for a significant global expansion of shale gas development, according to a study released Monday.
Thus far, the hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) technologies that have upended the global gas market have been used primarily in North America and, to a lesser extent, Europe. With U.S. gas production in particular having expanded exponentially in recent years, however, countries around the world have started exploration to discern whether they, too, could cash in on this new approach.
According to an estimate published last year by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, some 90 percent of the world’s shale gas could be found outside of the United States – an incredibly lucrative potential. ....
...Yet according to the new study, from Friends of the Earth Europe, a watchdog group, only Brazil has strengthened its regulatory regime in anticipation of this expansion. Of the nearly dozen countries the new report looks at, most are doing the opposite.
“Under pressure from the fossil fuel industry – which has deep pockets and promises employment and investment – several governments have already started to weaken their environmental legislation, alter their tax regimes and put in place industry-friendly mining licensing and production processes, in order to attract foreign investors and expertise,” the report states. “This is often at the expense of the public interest.”....
....The new report finds that a significant proportion of shale gas reserves around the world are located in areas that are already experiencing significant water shortages and even related violence. Likewise, many of these shale basins are beneath major cross-border aquifers. .... read more here
A bird's-eye view of the post-apocalyptic landscape that we've already created.Co.Exist
By a single vote, the U.S. Senate failed to fast-track the approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline last week, which would carry Canadian tar sands oil straight across the nation to the Gulf of Mexico. Lawmakers are expected to approve it in January, however, and President Obama may or may not let it squeak through.
A new photo series traces the path of the proposed pipeline, from the tar sands in Alberta to massive refineries in Texas. The photos make something clear: With or without the pipeline, huge amounts of tar sands oil are already being extracted and flowing into the U.S. Over the last four years, the amount of Canadian crude sent to Texas has increased by 83%.
Photographer Alex MacLean first flew over Alberta last winter, taking shots of a post-apocalyptic landscape that are hard to capture from the ground....
read more and see amazing pictures here