"Shale Plays Have Years, Not Decades"

If you ever have a few hours free and you need a good video overview to develop a more realistic view of oil (and a window into the pessimistic side of the Peak Oil Debate held by people like me), you can't go wrong by choosing Steven Kopits early 2014 talk or by choosing any of Art Berman's talks on shale like his great 2013 talk to the Houston Geological Society (HGS). Or Art's recent 2015 update to the HGS embedded above.

These presentations will give you great background to re-think common oil and shale industry hype and insight into factors that don't often make the news. Art's talks in particular tend to focus on the little discussed aspects of shale profitability. The simple fact is that oil production continues to cost more and more money, requiring higher oil prices to breakeven and larger amounts of debt to stay afloat. When the money and investors dries up, production is soon to follow.

This talk is the first time Art has publicly used a term that's sometimes associated with him, even though he never actually said it until now. He called shale a Ponzi Scheme. Talk is talk and hype is hype, but in the end, shale just has to work in a financially sustainable way, and it simply doesn't. Big production gains can only mask that for awhile, but eventually investors will catch on, then the house of cards will tumble down.