Qatargas Gets This Week’s PR Goofy Award for Fluffiness

Qatargas has to be the world’s finest big energy outfit, capable of not only record breaking production capacities, but of pumping out natural gas that is as green as the Jolly Green Giant’s beanstalk. One of the world’s biggest producers of natural gas, Qatargas seems to have left no PR stone unturned in claiming massive profitability, right alongside an image as Mother Earth’s guardian. Here’s the sheep’s take on this ball of gas.

PR Goofy Award

Shining a spotlight on contravening green awards seems like as good a PR Goofy Award piece as any we’ve come up with recently. LNG Industry reports Qatargas having won the Best Overall Sustainability Report award for Qatar’s Industry and Energy Sector. In recognition of a stutainability “report” that offers magical updates on the company’s economic, social and environmental performance for 2013, the industry that brought humankind “fracking” has patted the world’s biggest “fracking” LNG player on the back. I just have to quote from LNG Industry on this report:

“The Sustainable Development Industry Reporting (SDIR) Programme, led by Qatar Petroleum’s HSE directorate, has provided us with a platform to be part of a sector-wide initiative that focuses on improving its contribution to all elements of our national aspirations. We appreciate the great work done by the Qatar Petroleum team in raising the sustainability profile of the State of Qatar through this unique initiative.”

Maybe you know better than I, what the heck does that even mean? First of all, there’s not weight of scientific evidence to even suggest fracking is safe, or whether or not massive operations aimed at North American or other supplies are truly “sustainable” – if we factor in the possible irreversible effects of methane release and water table pollution. From Barack Obama’s Climate plan, riveted with LNG and fracking written all through it at to how lovely the alternative natural gas solution is. As for Qatargas and a host of other players, the real reason for liquefying and shipping gas on a scale is profit. A scholarly report from one of the world’s leading experts on sustainable energy, David Hughes (PDF) at the Post Carbon Institute tells all on the “sustainability” of revenues:

“Only about ten percent of global gas consumption was consumed as LNG in 2011.This has resulted in deep discounts in the price of gas in North America compared to European and Asian markets, and to the aggressive push by North American gas producers to develop LNG infrastructure to export gas to higher-priced markets. As with oil, consumption of gas has increased very rapidly in the Asia Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East.”

Fracking

Drilling in North America is at rampage level, Qatargas and others are in the boom building LNG facilities and logistics, not to mention supplies and end synergies.  Fracking is still considered experimental by some experts, dangerous by others – Courtesy EIA July, 2012

So, why don’t we call all these energy giant mutual gratification gestures what they really are, PR fluff to offset a cut throat business of fossil derived fuel? The PR Goofy this week goes to Qatargas for fluffing up over nothing. Finally, to shine a light on the Obama administration here, deals with Qatar, Britain, key companies like Exxon Mobil (who was represented by APCO Worldwide) and Dutch Royal Shell and others, and especially the humongous increase in drilling activity in the US foretell of all out “fracking” frenzy being the real climate initiative.

The chart above from Hughes’ report shows a telling drilling curve and oil production slump.

As you see, 10 times faster than crude oil production slumps, drilling activity (fracking mostly) has increased 159% since 20o5. Interestingly the rise started before Obama even had time to pen the first version of his climate initiative.

Like I said, why can’t we just put some transparency in all this? This company got an award for reporting how marvelous they are!!!

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