Control Risks

December 04, 2012 08:00 ET

What the Frack?

Who is winning the fracking battle?

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Dec. 4, 2012) - T-shirts bearing "What the Frack?" logos have not only become fashion items but are shaping public opinion about hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

The protests from Pennsylvania to Poland are vocal, sophisticated, fast paced and appeal to anyone from young, hungry, campaign-aware urban students to staunchly conservative smallholders and, through the intelligent use of social media, the messages are crossing geographic, social, age, cultural and economic backgrounds with increasing momentum. The industry, on the other hand, has been caught napping and is now at a disadvantage as it plays catch up. Whilst the technique of hydraulic fracturing has been around for decades and has been highly successful in many places, the protesters have successfully fought for (and got) moratoriums, delays, suspension and bans on further drilling in many places around the world in just two years.

So, how did a protest movement achieve so much with such limited funds and in so little time? Are the costs of law suits and managing protests too costly? Is the future to continue hydraulic fracturing in existing sites or to explore new geographies? Are the risks just too high? These are just some of the questions posed and answered in a new Control Risks' report "The Global Anti-Fracking Movement, what it wants, how it operates and what's next".

The document is essential reading for anyone in the oil and gas industry as it gives the background to today's situation and some of the risks that the industry faces in geographies around the world.

Extract from "The Global Anti-Fracking Movement, what it wants, how it operates and what's next" authored by Jonathan Wood, Associate Director of Global Analysis, at Control Risks:

2012 is likely to set the high-water mark for the anti-fracking movement. Regulatory reviews have been concluded in key battlegrounds, including New York, Bulgaria, South Africa and New South Wales, setting the tone for stricter long-term management of the unconventional gas industry. Technological innovations are reducing the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing by, among other things, increasing the efficiency of wastewater recycling and storage, reducing the likelihood of seismic events, and changing the mix of fracturing fluids to reduce water usage and fracturing pressure. The anti-fracking movement itself - though far from exhausted - is grappling with the consequences of its successes, struggling to maintain momentum after winning tighter regulation, moratoriums and bans. These dynamics point to three trends that could guide the future of the anti-fracking movement: expansion into new jurisdictions; incorporation into broader issue advocacy; and radicalisation of direct action against the unconventional gas industry.

See for the full report.

About Control Risks

Control Risks is a global risk consultancy specialising in political, security and integrity risk. The company enables its clients to understand and manage the risks of operating in complex or hostile environments. Through a unique combination of services, wide geographical reach and by adopting a close partnership approach with clients, Control Risks helps organisations effectively solve their problems and realise new opportunities across the world.

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