Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Must Read: IHT Energy on NYT Reporter Misusing Their Emails

IHS has issued a statement on the deliberately misleading use of their emails by the NYT reporter in his June 26th story.

The statement is posted at:

I also am hearing that another email used prominently by the NYT reporter was written by a summer intern for one of the companies.

At this point, the editors of the NYT are as culpable as the Reporter.


  1. Concerned ScientistJune 29, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Hi John

    I think your title should say IHS energy and the link doesn't work. Energy In Depth has a nice set of responses here including one from you. Energy in Depth is an industry funded website but the links are largley to non-industry funded sites and are worth reading for people who's minds are not already made up. It has a quote from IHS.


    Looks like IHS wasn't only one... maybe most or all of the quotes out of context?
    IHS, Engelder, EIA, CHK; I know for a fact that quotes from all of these sources were attributed incorrectly or taken out of context.

    Who should be held responsible for this? Can anyone just grab quotes out of context, attribute them incorrectly, and not be held accountable?

  3. Info that was apparently leaked in conversations within EIA is actually already published on EIAs website...

    There is also considerable uncertainty about the ultimate size of the technically and economically recoverable shale gas resource base in the onshore lower 48 States and about the amount of gas that can be recovered per well, on average, over the full extent of a shale formation. Uncertainties associated with shale gas formations include, but are not limited to, the following:

    Most shale gas wells are only a few years old, and their long-term productivity is untested. Consequently, reliable data on long-term production profiles and ultimate gas recovery rates for shale gas wells are lacking.
    In emerging shale formations, gas production has been confined largely to "sweet spots" that have the highest known production rates for the formation. When the production rates for the sweet spot are used to infer the productive potential of an entire formation, its resource potential may be overestimated.
    Many shale formations (particularly, the Marcellus shale) are so large that only a portion of the formation has been extensively production tested.
    Technical advances can lead to more productive and less costly well drilling and completion.
    Currently untested shale formations, such as thin seam formations, or untested portions of existing formations, could prove to be highly productive.

    Although public estimates of onshore lower 48 shale gas resources, as reported by private institutions, have grown over the past decade as more shale gas plays have been production tested, it is not known what shale formations were included in the estimates or what methodology and data were used to derive them. For example, an estimate relying only on publicly reported costs and performance profiles for shale gas wells would tend to overestimate the size of the economic resource base, because public information is skewed toward high-production and high-profit wells. Given the lack of information about how private institutions have derived their resource estimates, this analysis considers a set of alternative resource estimates that are intended to provide a plausible but not definitive range of potential shale gas resources.

  4. Concerned Scientist & Anonymous:

    You are right about putting Energy in the title. The link works on my computer. Not sure what is going on there.

    The reaction from around the country about the June 26th article is one of ridicule for the nyt reporter and the nyt.

    His sleazy methods are perhaps catching up with him and hopefully destroying his reputation.

    I know from emails that good people at the EIA are also furious with the unfairness and inaccuracy of the June 27th attack on it. That attack again features the same methods.

    I have done thousands and thousands of interviews over a 27 year career. I have complained to a reporter about his/her article less than 5 times in that time. I have written letters in response more times but I have hardly ever called a reporter to complain. I of course don't like or agree with many articles but I have a thick skin. Reporting is a tough job and I respect it.

    I have never encountered a reporter like this NYT reporter. He is manipulative. He is writing to a predetermined story line. He fits information to that story line. He excludes information to keep the story line plausible to the lay reader.

    This NYT reporter is dangerous to the truth. He is a disgrace to the profession.

    When the February 27th story came out, I contacted the Public Editor at the NYT. Got no where.

    Unless a group of people organize to demand a hearing at the NYT about this reporter's methods, nothing will happen.

  5. John, I'd suggest to you that this is not a "user" issue as much as it is a "dealer" issue. Hold the dealer (NYT) accountable first, and the user will get his in the fallout. If you don't get the dealer, the user goes away and another takes his place.

  6. Concerned ScientistJune 29, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    I remember some justified criticism of a "right-wing echo chamber" wherein the right wing media, politicians and voters views got skewed from reality because they were only talking amongst themselves and rarely heard differing opinions.

    I have a feeling that the anti-shale gas sentiment that has taken over NYC has led to a similar sort of echo chamber. Anti-shale activists, reporters and politicians only talk to and reference each other. Anyone who says anything different is dismissed as an industry shill driven by greed. In this way, things that are not true can become facts and conventional wisdom to those in the echo chamber. So many of the problems come down to what sources the reporters choose to interview and believe and Urbina rarely interviews anyone outside the echo chamber. He mines quotes from people outside the echo chamber that sound like they are confirming his point. These quotes rarely reflect the actual views of the person being quoted. It really is slip-shod journalism.