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Wrong Way Forward: Growth in Fracking, Tar Sands Sending 'Shockwaves'

New report from International Energy Agency shows surging oil production from shale oil in the U.S. and Canadian tar sands

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

An oil rig in North Dakota. (Photo: hitchhacking/flickr)

Signs abound that fossil fuels have brought us to the brink of climate calamity, and the need for renewable energy couldn't be clearer.

Despite this, oil production from shale oil in the U.S. and tar sands production in Canada is surging, the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) stated on Tuesday, and is sending "shockwaves" throughout the world.

In its report, the IEA states:

Following several years of stronger-than-expected North American supply growth, the shockwaves of rising United States (US) shale gas and light tight oil (LTO) and Canadian oil sands production are reaching virtually all recesses of the global oil market.

“North America has set off a supply shock that is sending ripples throughout the world,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven.

And the dangers that accompany technologies like fracking are proving no obstacle; instead, fracking looks set to spread.

"The technology that unlocked the bonanza in places like North Dakota can and will be applied elsewhere, potentially leading to a broad reassessment of reserves," stated van der Hoeven.

The report adds that is impossible to ignore the possibility that current non-conventional technologies, as they spread and get both perfected and mainstreamed, could lead to a wholesale reassessment of global reserves.

CNNMoney adds:

The new supply surge comes as developing nations are set to consume more oil than developed countries for the first time.

The IEA says the shift will be seen this quarter, with demand from developing countries hitting 54% of the global total by 2018, up from 49% in 2012.


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