Investors: what is it the natural gas industry doesn’t want you to know?

The editor of the O&G industry magazine World Oil was fired for defending a petroleum geologist’s columns indicating shale gas yields are overstated (that wells aren’t actually producing as industry advertised… not even close).

Below are 3 links to articles regarding this incident. The 1st reports on the firing; the 2nd is the editor’s explanation for his firing (posted on the columnist’s blog); and the 3rd is the column, which (due to pressure from industry to suppress the publication of a shale gas play production chart) was pulled from the November issue of World Oil.

Umbrage in the Gas Patch

From Perry Fischer, former World Oil Editor:

Facts are stubborn things: Arthur E. Berman November 2009

Now, why might large publicly traded drilling companies wish to suppress analysis indicating actual shall gas yields aren’t even close to what the prospective investors and leasors think they are?

Petrohawk has only $526 million in current assets, and $5.88 billion in non-current (not liquid) assets. Shareholder equity is $3.28 billion (6.2 times current assets and equal to 51% of total assets). Petrohawk desperately needs its shareholders to believe its tall tales.

– David J Cyr