A mystery around shale production

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From Mr Neil McNaughton.

Sir, For the price gap between the EU and the US to last “at least 20 years” as the IEA’s Fatih Birol claims (“Energy price gap with the US to hurt Europe for ‘at least 20 years’”, January 30), Europe’s energy prices need to stay high and the US’s low. While the former appears likely, given the lack of indigenous production, the latter is a matter of speculation. One influential industry body, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, is to hold a summit later this year to address what have been described a “serious unknowns” in current forecasts of production from shale plays. What does Mr Birol know about shale deliverability that the rest of the industry does not? The situation gets more interesting when ExxonMobil in its 2014 Outlook for Energy, cites bullish shale figures, not from its own research, but from the IEA! All rather curious, no?

Neil McNaughton, Editor, Oil IT Journal, Sevres, France

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