Fracking…it’s bad for business?
We know fracking is bad for our climate, our air, our land, and our water. But what if it's bad for business too?
Like a lot of us, I tend to assume that the Big Gas companies who are focused on drilling are doing so because they stand to unearth a giant underground lake of money. I forget that if anything, the super rich are more prone to "irrational exuberance" than the rest of us. So the news that Shell regrets its investment in fracked oil and gas should come as no surprise. Even knowing what I do, it's still surprising to read how much the mega oil company feels it may have overreached.
Peter Voser said the failure of Royal Dutch Shell’s huge bet on US shale was a big regret of his time as chief executive of the company.
Shell has invested at least $24bn in so-called unconventional oil and gas in North America. But it is a bet that has yet to pay off. Its North American upstream business has struggled to turn a profit and in August Shell announced a strategic review of its US shale portfolio after taking a $2.1bn impairment. “Unconventionals did not exactly play out as planned,” Mr Voser said.
So the outgoing Shell chairman is finally leveling with us: he bought into the hype as much as any landowner with visions of being a shale millionaire. What's more, that hype is now spreading across the globe.