Big Oil to put regulatory squeeze on frackers?

Shell CEO Peter Voser supports more regulation of frackers and may be working with enviros to do so.

Big Oil’s goal would be to make fracking to expensive for small operations — a move that would also result in higher gas prices.

The Politico report is below.

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Shell CEO: Gas industry should embrace regulation
By Darren Goode

3/7/12 11:18 AM EST
HOUSTON — Industry needs to do a better job of explaining the virtues of natural gas and particularly the use of hydraulic fracturing, while insisting on stronger regulation and enforcement, Shell CEO Peter Voser will say Wednesday.

Voser believes that the industry is partly to blame for criticism over the environmental and safety implications of natural gas development, even though not all of the concern and criticism is based “on facts or rational argument.”

“And let’s be honest: As an industry, we have not always done our best to engage in the public debates about these issues,” Voser will say, according to prepared remarks ahead of a speech at CERAWeek.

“This has resulted in some misconceptions taking root, especially about the impact” of hydraulic fracturing, he says. “We need to do a better job of listening and responding.”

He says that any groundwater contamination associated with fracking has occurred “due to poorly designed wells” and that Shell supports the Obama administration’s call for regulations to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids.

“Indeed, we support regulations to promote transparency and public engagement by the … shale gas industry in relation to all of its activities,” Voser says. “As an industry, we should insist on strong regulation and enforcement to ensure everyone in the industry does the job right.”

At the same time, Voser says that the evidence is not there to suggest that shale gas production results in significant methane and other greenhouse gas emissions.

“This is an issue we need to take seriously,” he says, adding, “Clearly more research and hard data are needed to understand the true extent of methane releases from the natural gas industry.”

Shell is among those working with the Environmental Defense Fund “to accurately measure methane emissions from natural gas production” in the U.S., he says. He says it was important to note that shale gas-fired power emitted about half the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions overall in relation to coal.

Voser says natural gas “likely will play a far more significant role” than previously thought in meeting global energy demand, noting that this year Shell for the first time expects to produce more natural gas than oil.

“While we all recognize the significance of this opportunity, our industry needs to do a better job of convincing the world that natural gas is a force for good,” Voser says. [Emphasis added]

6 thoughts on “Big Oil to put regulatory squeeze on frackers?”

  1. Couple of points:
    1: Shell and the other big oil companies have active environmental departments as well as corporate standards to uphold.
    2: The biggest pollution issue with fracking appears to be vent gassing. Flares and vapor combustors are expensive to buy, transport, set up, maintain, and run. Waste disposal is another big issue, and it is certainly expensive to treat wastewater due to sheer quantity.
    3: You can’t make money when you are doing your stuff right and the other guy isn’t. Requiring minimums is a way to keep the playing field level. Raising the minimums too high is a way to shunt out the small players. Make your opinion about which is in play here.
    4: Shell likes looking good. They know they are the next target after Exxon and BP and they are doing their best to shift all negative attention to Chevron, Valero, and Total.

  2. Voser, imo, IS a “Capitalist-PIG”! Voser is ALSO a “Rockerfellian-monopolist”,imo, and his Gordon Gecko-like GREED will, I predict, increase his personal bonuses, as I expect Royal Dutch Shell’s profits will be up. He’s Dumb, imo, because industry should NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, “get in bed”…with the Eco-Nazis/govt. agency partners. After a time, THEY will be “screwing” Shell, and Voser probably will have already left to spend his stock options elsewhere. Also, he is so UN-SOPHISTICATED, that he doesn’t KNOW the best-type of fracking is Waterless, using LNG-injection, that actually aides extraction, as it evaporates, wicking shale gas up, and leaving NO contaminating residues, therefore no “Nits” from the Eco-Nazis. PS. –Great earlier comments, guys, you nailed it before me. PPS. It is a good exec, that increases his company’s profits, but Voser doesn’t have to be so “piggy” , imo. Red China with coming billions of cars, means LOTS of business for all, no need to shut other small guys down, ESPECIALLY via the absolute WORST, regulation, established, by an Oil-industry TRAITOR to his industry, because Voser can go, but the REGULATIONS will STAY, to everybody’s detriment! If I were a board-member, I’d vote to fire him, even knowing he’ll make me richer.

  3. “In order to succeed, you do not compete in the market place. You control the government and eliminate your competition from the marketplace.” John D Rockerfeller

  4. Are companies like Shell unable to do the right thing on their own without regulation? This is squeeze the little guy ploy.

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