Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Fracking" the news as energy paradigm shifts

Austin – “Fracking” the shale formations deep underground is the key to onshore energy production east of the Rockies – a natural route to increasing energy independence.

This bold new method of unlocking previously unavailable and cost prohibitive natural gas deposits is all over the news as the market recovers from the disasters of 2008 and an energy-starved American economy looks for alternatives to its fuel problems.

Legislators did their part to help quell environmental concerns by voting out a new law that would require posting the chemicals used to fracture the oil and gas-laced strata deep underground on public websites – while at the same time keeping confidential the exact formulas and proportions of proprietary mixtures developed by completion experts such as Halliburton World Services.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act imposes curbs on margin buying schemes – especially for executives of financial institutions - used by CEO's such as Chesapeake Energy's Aubrey McClendon, who was forced to sell off millions in stock in the company he co-founded whenLink gas prices plummeted following the financial collapse, then realized a $75 million bonus voted by his board. The result: shareholder class action suits and bad publicity.

It's all part of new and shifting paradigm that finds stock analysts as well as shareholders questioning pay packages for company chieftains such as Mr. McClendon, who realized a $21 million income for 2010 – down from as much as $193 million in that ill-fated year of 2008.

As it is, he's in the same notch with the chief of Chevron ($16 million), GE ($21 million), and ConocoPhillips ($18 million).

What does it all boil down to represent? That's simple enough, from where The Legendary sits.

It's all about how fracturing in such formations as the Bakken, the Eagle Ford and the Giddings oil fields is the thing of the future, a way out of $5 per gallon gas, when they'll sell it to you, and a miserable economic future picture.

There's enough of it out there to keep the nation supplied for the next coming century, according to the deep thinkers who drive the energy ship.

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