Breitling Oil and Gas Morning Podcast #52 April 6th, 2012

Fracking opposition still challenges long-term development

Opposition to hydraulic fracturing will pose a significant challenge to shale gas development, not just in the US, but internationally, according to Breitling Oil and Gas CEO Chris Faulkner.

Faulkner said the industry “underestimated the power of public opinion.” Now, as the industry launches counter-campaigns to anti-drilling messages in the US, opposition is spreading overseas.

Faulkner spoke at IQPC’s 4th Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling and Completions Summit in Pittsburgh, attended by Gas Business Briefing.

“The supply is there, but will we continue to be allowed to frack in certain areas of the US? France and Belgium are not too keen on it, as well as South Africa,” Faulkner said.

South Africa has a fracking moratorium. France has banned it. On the other end of the spectrum, Poland and China have supported shale development.

“As an industry, we created that. We didn’t respond quickly enough to the ‘Gaslands’ of the world, and now (a sequel to) ‘Gasland’ is coming out,” Faulkner said, adding that a new documentary is being made in South Africa about the Marcellus Shale.

Faulkner said the industry needs to get more involved in communities and engaging concerns about fracking.

“People think this is the Wild, Wild West and we’re just fracking and hoping that things work out. They don’t realize all the technology that goes into this.”

Faulkner said more development needs to take place in “green gas development,” with greater focus on methane capture and reducing the surface impact of well pads and associated activity.

He also cited ongoing development of food-grade replacements for chemicals used in fracking fluid as another potential breakthrough.

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