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[Episode #191] – Shale’s Swan Song

Since 2007 the US transitioned from an oil production has-been that was more than four decades past its previous peak, to the world's top oil and gas producer, and the top exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The shale boom delivered many benefits to the US and the world, including over a decade of reprieve from the impending threat of peak oil.

But now shale producers face numerous challenges — such as running out of decent prospects where they can drill new wells.

The implications of the US shale boom winding down are as numerous as the benefits, and it’s vitally important we understand how this shift will influence the world oil market and shape the entire project of the energy transition.

In this episode, we are joined by longtime oil journalist Derek Brower, the US Energy Editor for the Financial Times, who has been a frontline reporter through the shale boom's entire story. We recount the history of how the US fracked its shales to become the leading oil producer, and how a decade of volatile oil prices has changed the character of the oil industry, as well as the various ways we use oil. We’ll also review the headwinds the shale industry now faces and why its prospects for additional growth are dim. And we’ll consider what the end of the shale boom means for the global oil trade and its geopolitics; for the ongoing efforts to eliminate demand for Russian oil in the West; and for the energy transition as a whole.

Recording date: January 20, 2023

Air date: February 8, 2023

Geek rating: 7