Scientist at Vail Global Energy Forum: Fracking is safe


— Hydraulic fracturing can be done safely and it'll have to be, because the world will be doing more of it, said Dr. Mark Zoback,

“We cannot stop thinking toward the future just because we have abundant natural gas. If it's a bridge, there has to be something on the other side. And what's on the other side is a carbon free energy future,” Zoback said.

Zoback was part of the Vail Global Energy Forum. He was also part of a committee formed to study the safety of hydraulic fracturing, called “fracking,” a process that releases natural gas trapped deep underground.

The committee was small and diverse, composed of industry types, academics and environmentalists, Zoback said.

“We determined that there was no question shale gas could be developed safely. But we put forth a number of questions,” Zoback said.

Read the full story at the Vail Daily's website.


Steve Lewis 3 years, 12 months ago

The full article is worth reading, and the forum presents useful ideas. Quoting from the article:

They'd really like to know what's in those fracking fluids, “Our committee called for full disclosure. We frankly thought that the best way for industry to make its point, was to get it all out there and tell the public that they're not putting anything dangerous in there,” Zoback said.

Industry estimates put the U.S. natural gas supply at 100 years, but how long it lasts depends on how it's used. “It's too soon to tell,” Zoback said. “If we use natural gas for transportation it's down to 50 years. Add other uses and it's down to 30 years.” “This notion that gas at $3.50 isn't something you can count on. It won't stay that low,” Petrie said.



Steve Lewis 3 years, 12 months ago

That 100 year supply is disputed. And it relies on extracting 100% of all natural gas including problematic locations ranging from very deep, to very difficult, and very environmentally sensitive areas, such as all the offshore deposits. At the same time there is much to agree with. The committee advocates getting beyond carbon asap.


Dan Kuechenmeister 3 years, 12 months ago

No one really knows how much energy we have in the US to extract from the ground. How long have we been hearing about "peak oil". Energy production is a function of exploration, economics and innovation. I agree, we can all argue the cost of finding the energy, but i suspect the US has a lot more carbon based energy available then the "experts" are estimating. I have no dog in the hunt. I try to conserve when ever possible and wear the extra sweater (per Jimmy Carter).


Scott Wedel 3 years, 12 months ago

Well, peak oil will occur because geological forces are not creating new reserves. Our improved ability to extract oil from difficult reserves has surprised those whom predicted earlier dates for peak oil and thus been proven wrong.

It would seem that what is known US reserves has not changed that much because they have pretty extensively geological maps of the US. What has changed is predictions of what reserves can be economically extracted.

An interesting fact I found about windmills is that USA windmills produce about 25 of rated capacity which means they are being located in really windy places. Spain's windmills are at about 13% because they offered a tax break that made it worthwhile to build a windmill even it wasn't in a very windy location.

It is interesting how liberals so often say that a new defense system needs to be proven before being put into production, but are unwilling to apply the same standards to green energy.


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