Shell Director: U.S. Has 'Overfracked and Overdrilled'

US-Energy-Gas-Environment Workers change pipes at Consol Energy Horizontal Gas Drilling Rig exploring the Marcellus Shale outside the town of Waynesburg, PA on April 13, 2012. It is estimated that more than 500 trillion cubic feet of shale gas is contained in this stretch of rock that runs through parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia. Shale gas is natural gas stored deep underground in fine-grained sedimentary rocks. It can be extracted using a process known as hydraulic fracturing "“ or 'fracking' "“ which involves drilling long horizontal wells in shale rocks more than a kilometre below the surface. Massive quantities of water, sand and chemicals are pumped into the wells at high pressure. This opens up fissures in the shale, which are held open by the sand, enabling the trapped gas to escape to the surface for collection.  (National Journal)

The projects and technology director at Royal Dutch Shell is calling for a cutback to the hype on U.S. oil and gas production, reports Financial Post.

"The reservoirs don't need that many wells," Matthias Bichsel said. "The reservoirs don't need that many stages of fracks, because not all the pieces of the rocks are as good."

Shell was a late arrival to the U.S. shale boom and recently sold more than 100,000 acres of its Texas shale assets. "[W]e never talk about the basins that have not worked," Bichsel said. "We have some areas that are simply not as good as others.... And I'm afraid that some countries may be setting themselves up for dashed expectations."