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.
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]