Comment: Fracking is rarely mentioned in Western media these days. Everyone seems to have imagined we're already living in a post-oil/gas world, when in fact we're all more reliant on it than ever before...

The US, for one, is literally fracking itself to death.

fracking shale-oil
© Simon Fraser University/Flickr
Fracking pads and roads, seen here from the air, can turn a rural landscape into a network of industrial infrastructure.
Acquiring top-notch US technology to extract shale oil might be challenging, but not for the world's best-known KGB intelligence veteran who (jokingly) told a Russian investment forum how (not) to do it.

Vladimir Putin provided his vision on extracting shale oil - a type of crude found in underground deposits - at the 'Russia Calling' investment forum, which at first sounded like veiled nostalgia for his much-talked about KGB career in the 1980s.

"Let us wait for the Americans to spend money on new extraction technologies," he said, adding that the moment will come to snatch it all. "Let's see if we are interested in doing this today or not," he hinted, adding, "And we'll buy it for cheap."

Joking aside, there's no need for Russia to steal that know-how as the country that houses one of the world's largest oil and gas reserves is working on its own.
"We are closely following all this (the latest developments in shale oil extraction). The thing is that modern-day technologies for extracting shale oil, shale gas, they are without exaggeration, barbaric, they destroy the environment."
In some areas where shale oil is extracted, "it's not water that drips from the tap but black slurry," Putin explained.

"We do not need such production, despite all the possible economic advantages, we will never do this," he assured. Russian companies have "capabilities on the shelf and on the surface," there is no urgent need, he added.

Putin also said that the US "shot itself in the foot" by prohibiting companies to work on Russia's shelf, explaining that those who had already invested money in such projects, had to abandon them and suffer losses. "So, who is the punished one?" he concluded.