Hidden inside the recent report on Russian meddling in the US election is something rather interesting. In fact, it’s been hinted at for a couple of years and was even the subject of a Forbes article in which Continental Resources CEO said “Russia’s spent a great deal of money over here to cause a panic in the United States over fracking to stop it, because suddenly their market share is going away,” back in March last year. He was echoing NATO Chief, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who had previously claimed much the same thing. However, neither supplied any real evidence. Now, the Washington Examiner has picked up on the story stating “Russia engaged in an anti-fracking campaign to hurt the U.S. energy industry, which has become a huge competitor for Russian natural gas giant Gazprom, according to a declassified U.S. intelligence report released Friday.” Interesting, wikileaks also factors into this debate as apparently Hilary Clinton discussed Russia’s involvement in 2014 in an Edmonton, Canada speech.
As a Ph.D. Geologist who spent a few years in the oilfield at the very start of my career, I seem to spend a lot of time these days talking to my non-industry friends about fracking. I mean, I was the rig geologist on several wells fracked back in 1985. This is NOTHING NEW. What is new is the furor over it on the part of environmental groups. Yes, there is a correlation between water injection associated with fracking with increased seismic activity but there is really no evidence that fracking is particularly harmful so long as everything is done correctly. It is when I make this latter point that these same overly concerned friends get all excited again – “oh but the oil industry is greedy and never does anything properly!” they tell me with a look of victory. Well, you know, the oil industry that I worked for was very, very careful in everything it did when I worked there. Accidents happen. Human’s are human. If we are going to stop fracking because there might be an accident then lets stop people driving or flying too!
Anyway, I digress. I don’t know of course whether this story is true, whether the intel is backed up strongly by factual evidence. I do find it very suspicious that fracking only suddenly became an issue when US output started to have an impact on the price of oil that damaged Russia. Actually, we have been fracking for 60-years so I am very suspicious that Russia Today, an propaganda arm of the Russian Government, decided to cover this in such negative detail in the last couple of years or so. Who knows the truth but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this were true.