It is often said that every crisis is in fact a hidden opportunity. As expected, the gas crisis in Ukraine and the rise of Sunni jihadists in Iraq offered fracking apologists a new opportunity to dupe the public into believing that shale gas can save Europe from freezing in winter.

US fracking technology is coming to China's vast shale deposits as a result of a joint venture between FTS International and Sinopec announced on Tuesday. Ownership will be 55 percent Sinopec and 45 percent FTS. State-owned Sinopec (China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. is based in Beijing and one of the world's largest companies, with about $460 billion in revenues in 2013.

The Ukrainian press and experts in Kiev are accusing Moscow of supporting the so-called separatists in the east of the country due to the alleged presence of shale gas in that region, which Russia wants to develop. 

 

Shale gas is one of the most popular themes nowadays. But in spite of the fact that much is already said about it and many scientific works are written, thanks to certain environmental groups comparing it with natural gas, in the minds of consumers shale gas looks like an alternative, cheap, though very dangerous fuel. However, it is not so in reality.

 

 

The extraction of shale gas is that typical case, which is best described by the trite journalists’ cliché – the issue broke the society in halves. While some talk about the fuel of the future and praise the energy independence, others talk about the most barbaric method of raw materials’ exploration, which irreversibly damages the environment. Meanwhile, the number of pluses and minuses is about the same, with the only difference that the minuses are long lasting.

American energy companies are using a crude oil loophole to input high profits that are record-breaking in terms of petroleum exports with the shale gas industry only expected to grow. Even though big US oil firm are requesting to kill off a 1970s law which bans exports of crude, they continue on exploiting a loophole that just a year ago allowed them to export high amounts of gasoline and other petroleum-based items, as stated by The Washington Times.

John McCain, channeling America's inner Mr. Hyde, has repeatedly stated that “the strategy of the US must be built in opposition to Russia's gas strategy, as this will be the end of Putin and his empire". Barack Obama promised to kick Gazprom out of Europe with American shale gas exports. However, there are hints that Russia may be silently preparing a countermove against the US with the help of a former American ally.

 

Shale deposits have recently become quite a headache for managers. Shale gas as it is wanted to be seen by all sorts of executives is now an economic miracle, now eco-terrorism, now the gas-exporting nations’ lever to commit political blackmail. A lot depends on positioning, as is often the case today. He who shouts his convictions the loudest is the one who is right, albeit temporarily.

Britain's fracking industry is being held back by environmental regulations drawn up in Brussels, a senior committee of the UK House of Lords plans to say this week, NYT reports. In a major report, the Lords are expected to call for permits to be granted more quickly to drilling companies to allow them to test the potential of newly drilled shale gas wells.

The State Department is giving federal agencies more time to review the Keystone XL pipeline before deciding whether to issue a permit. That could push a decision about the controversial oil pipeline until after the midterm elections in November. 

 

The second oil-producing state in the US struggles with proper waste disposal. Recently industrial-sized black garbage bags stuffed with radioactive nets, commonly known as "oil filter socks," were found at an abandoned gas station in the tiny remote town of Noonan, North Dakota. 

Over 100 people gathered in University Square in Bucharest to protest against shale gas extraction through hydraulic fraction or “fracking”, demanding that the authorities ban the use of this method in Romania, as Chevron is about to start the effective exploration for shale gas in the Romanian village Pungesti, according to the company officials.

The American President promised his European allies that America will save Europe from its dependency on Russian natural gas imports. He promised to issue an order that will allow energy companies to export LNG from the US in unlimited quantities. But do those “unlimited quantities” really exist?