Is fracking flopping on foreign finances?

(AP)

Hydraulic fracturing, the drilling process that releases oil and natural gas from deep inside shale formations, has sparked a boom in the U.S. and a glut of natural gas that has driven prices to their lowest in a decade.

While there’s been a lot of talk about exporting fracking techniques to other parts of the world, the global appetite for fracking appears limited.

As Bloomberg BusinessWeek writes, enthusiasm for fracking in places such as China, the U.K. and Poland is waning. The cost of using fracking techniques in Europe, for example, is proving far greater than in the U.S. because of the different nature of the formations. Projects that in the U.S. are profitable at $3 per million British thermal units need prices of closer to $9 in Poland to be viable, BusinessWeek said.

Then there’s the environmental backlash, which is stronger in Europe than in the U.S. France, for example, banned fracking in July because of environmental concerns. In the U.K., a myriad of concerns have been raised, including the amount of water fracking consumes at a time when much of the country faces a drought.

All of which creates questions marks about whether the fortunes fracking has found in the U.S. will be followed by foreign fanfare or simply flop.