The Weekly Oil and Gas Follies – Volume 61, September 8, 2014
In which we drill down into the @GDBlackmon Twitter feed to briefly chronicle the week’s silliness, shenanigans, fake news and real news related to the oil and natural gas industry.
It was another target rich environment for folly hunting this week. We’ll start with a story about some guy hardly anyone’s ever heard of being labeled the “God of oil trading”, and it all goes downhill from there. We’ll move on to our tireless Usual Suspects at Slate.com trying to outdo the Usual Suspects at HuffingtonPost.com with fake fright stories about Fracking. Later we’ll pay a visit to yet another in an endless series of “green” energy cronyism emanating from the Obama Administration. But then we’ll round it all out with a set of pretty decent stories in the oil and gas arena that managed to find their way into print and/or bandwidth over the past week. So onto the folly chronicles!
The sky is falling! The sky is falling!: “God of oil trading” Predicts Collapse of Shale Revolution, $150 Oil – One of the most successful oil traders alive thinks America’s shale renaissance will prove to be a dud and that crude prices will hit $150 within five years. In a coming Bloomberg Markets profile, Andrew John Hall, who according to a 2013 Max Abelson profile is known to competitors as “God,” has been telling subscribers to his investing letters that he has been buying up long-dated crude contracts in anticipation of a run-up in prices as America’s shale oil boom recedes. The British-born Hall was embroiled in a fight during the financial crisis over access to a $100 million bonus payout he was due for 2009 trades from then-employer Citi. It was ultimately blocked after Citi received a third bailout. But the year before that, he had netted $98 million.
Shameless propaganda disguised as news piece of the week: Just What the Gulf Needs – Deepwater Fracking Slated to Expand – The high-stakes, unconventional drilling method is already at play in the Gulf, and the possibilities are only growing. Writing at DeSmogBlog, Steve Horn calls out the extreme underplayed news that of the more than 400,000 acres off the Texas coast sold by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for gas and oil development, “most” bidders were focused on the Lower Tertiary. Horn calculates that about 54 percent of the total acreage is located there — meaning the federal government’s more or less opened the doors for the Gulf to become frack central. Already, one industry exec is predicting that fracking activity there will increase by more then(sic) 10 percent this year.
Why yes, yes it has, and the Sierra Club just hates it.: The U.S. Has Gotten a Lift by Going Deep for Natural Gas – The U.S. economy has gotten a lift by going deep, all to retrieve natural gas deposits that are fueling American industry and electric generation. The ability to capture unconventional shale gas deposits that are locked inside of rock formations a mile beneath the earth’s surface is supplying both businesses and power generators with an inexpensive and reliable fuel source. That’s breathed new life into such energy-intensive facilities as well as given utilities an alternative to coal that has fallen out of regulatory favor.