Big Oil Companies Face Growing Concerns Over Fracking

How their investors/shareholders voted on proposals regarding disclosure.  80)


from the article ...


Large blocks of investors in the two biggest U.S. oil companies on Wednesday demanded more disclosure about the environmental risks of extracting oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing.  Exxon Mobil Corp defended the practice at its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, even as investors peppered Chief Executive Rex Tillerson with concerns and questions about it.


A proposal requiring more disclosure by Exxon on the impact of "fracking" received about 30 percent of the votes by shareholders in the world's largest publicly traded oil company.



At rival Chevron Corp, which became heavily involved in fracking through a recent acquisition, 41 percent of shareholders backed a similar resolution.

"Breaking 40 percent on a first year resolution has only happened a few times in the last few decades, so it shows how seriously the company's shareholders are taking this issue," said Michael Passoff, who focuses on fracking at San Francisco-based corporate responsibility group As You Sow.

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GULP!  The activists are much better organized and supported than I thought!  We are talking about billions of dollars worth of shares used to fight natural gas from pension funds.


The NY State retirement fund is very influential.  More funds will follow their lead. Pension fund managers tend to be strongly herd oriented. My state's pension fund is guided by the "prudent person rule" (which often means they go with the herd)  You don't invest in something that a "prudent person" would not invest in.  In the case of NG the activist have the double play of natural gas not being very profitable right now.


Shareholder resolutions on tobacco, divestiture from Isreal and environmental issues come up all the time in corperate annual meetings. 25 years ago I followed these votes, but I never saw anything close to 30% of shares voted of any company, much less a giant like Exxon-Mobil. I've never seen an activists shareholder vote approaching 30% in any large company.


"The ExxonMobil proposal is part of a campaign by more than a dozen investor groups – including the $110 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund – that contacted 20 natural gas companies. Shareholder resolutions have been filed at 10 companies including Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Chesapeake Energy, EOG Resources, Hess Corporation, and Ultra Petroleum.


The Cabot and EOG proposals, both filed by Green Century Capital Management of Boston, received support from the holders of 36 percent and 31 percent of shares, respectively. Typically, first-time environmental resolutions get 5 to 7 percent, and shareholder advocates consider anything over 10 percent a success, as that level of support is often enough to change a company's practices."


sesport, the first link you listed from msnbc was dated 6-2008.  In the article was the prediction of oil prices dropping by half and investors loosing a lot of money.  That happened.  


With this new scare, fracking, where do you think NG prices will go if sell, sell, sell comes around again?

How can knowledgable people like the GHS crowd simply sit by and let this fraud (that hydraulic fracturing is somehow "dangerous" ) continue to persist?  Fracking is NOT dangerous to water and is so recognized and acknowledged by scientific experts.  Everyone on this thread seems to simply be willing to sit by and let the oil/gas companies be subject to going down the economic tube!  Ugh!  This misinformation is a result of Appalachian/Marcellus propaganda. 


The argument for fracking is out there.  


The problem, the amount of money that would have to be spent to do the PR and have the average citizen become aware of the truth and change their mind.  The average citizen doesn't have a gas well bringing in $$$ to their pockets, so the environment trumps everything.  They're energy ignorant and don't understand that this country can't go 'green' overnight.  


The oil and gas industry has got to change some of the ways they do business.  When the TV has pictures of Flipper covered in oil and gasping for breath, that's what I call "A Pitch Fork" moment.  The fracking crowd dumping waste water into sewer plants and rivers, and not telling people what's in the waste, because it's a secret formula and don't want other companies finding out what they use, people don't like it.  They'll jump on the other bus every time. 

Maybe the gas drilling business is too wide open...mega regulation would whittle down the players....



In the article you linked titled "Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing  " is a correlative study in which the authors readily admit "We found no evidence for contamination of drinking-water samples with deep saline brines or fracturing fluids. "


There are a number of technical issues that the paper comes up short on, namely describing how they selected their test wells and the non-random nature of that selection.  


The technical paper below gives a good overview of issues with methane in wells, including from oil and gas wells.  Note that it predates Marcellus development by several years...


So lets not pretend the paper from the researchers at Duke indicates that thermogenic methane in waterwells is a side effect of hydraulic fracturing.  


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