shalebookSEATTLE, Washington and CARTERSVILLE, Georgia – Greenfield Advisors’ Vice Chairman and Co-Managing Director, Dr. Clifford A. Lipscomb, is one of the authors writing in a new book about the economic effects of hydraulic fracturing on a worldwide scale. Dr. Lipscomb’s extensive background in economics and real estate valuation gives him a unique view on how hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, would affect Japan, which is the focus of his chapter in the newly released book, The Global Impact of Unconventional Shale Gas Development.

The chapter, “Shale Gas Development and Japan”, was co-written with Dr. Hisanori Nei of Japan, Dr. Yongsheng Wang of the Bank of New York Mellon, and Sarah J. Kilpatrick, and examines how natural gas found in shale formations is affecting the economy of Japan. The country currently imports much of its natural gas, and because of the size and geography of Japan, other energy sources, such as wind or conventional oil, are available only in limited locations.

Dr. Lipscomb and his co-authors researched how the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 forced the country to severely limit its use of nuclear power and instead diversify into other energy sources. Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) could be transported to the country, but it came with a higher price tag.

“Japan provided us with an interesting set of circumstances to examine,” Dr. Lipscomb said. “I visited Japan in 2013 to meet with Japanese real estate professionals and to present my research at the Asian Real Estate Society meetings in Kyoto. Then and now, I found that Japan is still recovering from the loss of its ability to produce nuclear power. Meanwhile, the country is working to provide enough energy for its citizens and to support its economy.”

In the years since the earthquake, some of the nuclear power plants have come back online. However, the Japanese government is working to diversify the country’s energy sources, and that includes importing large amounts of LNG, which can be collected through fracking. Japan, like other areas of the world, is discovering that fracking, while controversial, is also an inexpensive way to drill for natural gas located in large shale formations.

“There’s no question fracking and shale gas drilling have changed the way we look at energy on a global scale,” Dr. Lipscomb said. “We’ve seen it here in the United States in recent years, and it was interesting to examine how countries on the other side of the globe are utilizing natural gas in their energy portfolios. Also, the economics of importing LNG derived from unconventional shale gas development in the U.S. are still attractive. There is a nice arbitrage opportunity there, although it is not as attractive as it once was 1-2 years ago.”

The Global Impact of Unconventional Shale Gas Development is available for purchase at

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