Full Funding for "The Frack Lab"

The U.S. “shale revolution” has taken off in recent years. But journalists are largely avoiding one crucial, tough question: How long will the boom last?
— Mason Inman

Congratulations to Mason Inman for raising a huge $10,000 to fund his project "The Frack Lab." Anyone involved in energy should check out his new venture. Inman will now produce one article a week to dig deeply into the data of the shale revolution. This is critical work that many journalists simply aren't covering. For example, one of Mason's charts, on the right, shows that shale gas now makes up half of U.S. natural gas production. Both due to the explosion of shale production, but also due to the deep decline of conventional gas production since 2008.

When this is the world we're living in - and considering that the decline rates of shale wells are much more dramatic than conventional production - it's sort of important to understand the data of fracking so we can accurately predict what to expect going forward. 

Some of the questions Inman plans on examining:

  • "Some shale regions, including Texas’s Barnett and Louisiana’s Haynesville, have seen significant declines in production. The EIA forecasts these will both see significant revivals—but how likely is this?"
  • "In North Dakota’s Bakken shale, companies are trying to pack wells in much tighter, running pilot projects for 'downspacing.' How are those wells performing?"
  • "How does the U.S. Energy Information Administration generate its resource estimates and forecasts for shale gas and shale oil? Have they built in optimistic assumptions?"