In mid-September, the U.S. government revised its estimates for U.S. oil production upward once again. Boosted by increases in tight oil from shale formations in North Dakota and Texas, America could soon surpass its previous domestic production peak hit in 1970.
At the same time, U.S. natural gas production, also driven by fracking, hit an all-time high this summer.
But skeptics warn that fracked oil and gas could soon hit a peak, pointing to the steep decline rates for wells -- which both the oil and gas industry and the government acknowledge. One prominent Canadian geologist and drilling consultant, David Hughes, recently released an analysis of these decline rates for the Post Carbon Institute, showing an average 85 percent drop in production at unconventional wells in the first three years of operation.
However, total production is still growing. And the EIA suggests that a peak may not come for another couple of decades. What are we to make of these conflicting projections on the promise of fracking?
Michael Levi, author of the book The Power Surge, helps put the numbers into context. Then, the Gang will discuss what the economics of fracking means for cleantech investment.
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The Energy Gang is produced by Greentechmedia.com. The show features weekly discussion between energy futurist Jigar Shah, energy policy expert Katherine Hamilton and Greentech Media Editor Stephen Lacey.