(OilPrice) The shale gas “miracle” is overhyped and bound to disappoint. That’s what energy expert Bill Powers argues in his upcoming book. But Powers tells The Energy Report that this could be a very good thing for oil and gas companies and their shareholders, and he is placing his bets accordingly.

The Energy Report: Bill, you have a new book coming out next spring entitled “Cold, Hungry and in the Dark: Exploding the Natural Gas Supply Myth.” What is your basic argument?

Bill Powers: My thesis is that the importance of shale gas has been grossly overstated; the U.S. has nowhere close to a 100-year supply. This myth has been perpetuated by self-interested industry, media and politicians. Their mantra is that exploiting shale gas resources will promote untold economic growth, new jobs and lead us toward energy independence.

In the book, I take a very hard look at the facts. And I conclude that the U.S. has between a five- to seven-year supply of shale gas, and not 100 years. That is far lower than the rosy estimates put out by the U.S. Energy Information Administration and others. In the real world, many companies are taking write-downs of their reserves.

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