Matt Ridley: Britain needs to embrace the shale revolution

Posted: February 13, 2018 by oldbrew in Energy, fracking, opinion
Tags: , , ,

Shale gas drilling site [image credit: BBC]

Current forecasts say gas will be providing 7 times more energy worldwide than all renewables by 2040. Why import it when it’s in the ground?

Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are the biggest energy breakthrough of the century, writes Matt Ridley in The Times.

Gas will start flowing from Cuadrilla’s two shale exploration wells in Lancashire this year. Preliminary analysis of the site is “very encouraging”, bearing out the British Geological Survey’s analysis that the Bowland Shale beneath northern England holds one of the richest gas resources known: a huge store of energy at a cost well below that of renewables and nuclear.

A glance across the Atlantic shows what could be in store for Britain, and what we have missed out on so far because of obstacles put in place by mendacious pressure groups and timid bureaucrats.

Thanks to shale, America last week surpassed the oil production record it set in 1970, having doubled its output in seven years, while also turning gas import terminals into export terminals.

The effect of the shale revolution has been seismic. Cheap energy has brought industry back to America yet carbon dioxide emissions have been slashed far faster than in Europe as lower-carbon gas displaces high-carbon coal. Environmental problems have, contrary to the propaganda, been minimal.

All thoughts of imminent peak oil and peak gas have vanished. Opec’s cartel has been broken, after it failed to kill the shale industry by driving the oil price lower: American shale producers cut costs faster than anybody thought possible.

Continued here.

  1. Ridley Talks out of his arse. The world could have developed Hydrogen system Zero emissions.

    Cutting out NOx is imperative it is a Health Hazard.Those companies producing Oil and Gas should and will be sued for compensation.

    Fracking is causing earth quakes in the US and poisoning water supplies, what for Hydrogen could have been in wide use after 25 years of knowing the issues.

    Argue it costs more, then tell that to the children who have got breathing difficulties, Remember Lead its not a problem Rubbish it was a problem.

    Sir Matt Ridley you are a disgrace as a Law Maker you should Air on the side of Caution, All you see is ££££ in you and your friends bank account.

    On a par with Boris the liar.
    Not fit for purpose.

    [reply] slight problem: hydrogen is not a natural resource – so needs energy (gas?) for its production

  2. Bitter@twisted says:

    Drill, baby, drill.
    Then we won’t need to import energy, won’t be reliant on Russia or the Middle East, won’t need overpriced and unreliable green energy and we will emit less CO2.
    What’s not to like?

  3. p.g.sharrow says:

    The financial savings from locally produced energy will be a shot in the arm for the economic flu that has afflicted the nation. Now GET OUT of the EU and join the prosperity of true independence…pg

  4. oldbrew says:

    Black & Veatch wins UK deal for combined cycle gas turbine plant

    US headquartered engineering company Black & Veatch is to lead the development consent order process for a new 900 MW combined cycle gas turbine plant in the UK.

    The Wyre Combined Cycle Project, in Fleetwood, England … is only a few miles from the UK’s first shale gas drilling site. Maybe not a coincidence.

  5. What a bizarre comment from the first commenter, rude as well as wrong. Hydrogen has to be created via very energy intensive processes. The energy for the conversion will be dirty.
    Yes Nox is bad but the UK air is the cleanest for over 200 years.
    Get a grip Rudy

  6. oldbrew says:

    In the real world…

    Date: 13/02/18 Julian Lee, Bloomberg

    The latest surge in U.S. oil output will probably hasten the country’s rise to the top of the producer pile. More important, it’s starting to look as though at least half of OPEC’s nightmare scenario for 2018 — a surge in shale output and slowdown in demand growth — is coming true.
    . . .
    The U.S. is close to becoming the world’s largest producer of crude and condensate — a form of light oil extracted from gas fields — even if it’s not quite there yet. It’s pretty much level with Saudi Arabia’s combined output, itself boosted by condensates not included in headline production numbers, and is closing on Russia’s 10.95 million daily barrels. That could be passed by the end of the summer, according to Citigroup.

  7. JB says:

    Perhaps someday someone will figure out an economical way to turn Nox into fertilizing ammonia, and do a similar thing that thorium reactors would do to the spent uranium rods piling up. Now there’s a use for “renewable” energy–converting Nox to a usable resource.

    PQ Corp developed a zeolite catalyst nearly two decades ago for converting methane into synthetic diesel, which according reports, burned cleaner than any grade of diesel. Who bought it? I asked my friend who helped perfect the process. Why the Arabs he replied. They had an excess of methane from their wells they wanted to use as motor fuel without the infrastructure of cracking towers.

    Now if someone could make it profitable to manufacture bovine fart bags….

  8. Bitter@twisted says:

    The Hydogen Answer.
    Been there done that.
    See “Hindenburg”.

  9. Graeme No.3 says:

    If you burn hydrogen in air you generate NOx. Burning it using pure oxygen avoids that but makes the cost much higher.
    The cheapest source of hydrogen at the present is from steam reforming of natural gas, with the simultaneous generation of CO2. Electrolysis using an intermittent and fluctuating source of electricity such as from wind turbines is going to be expensive because inefficient.
    South Australia has just installed a factory to use the hydrogen from wind electricity as an energy store, also to generate fertiliser from NOx, and to start an export market to the rest of the world. It is far to small to ever be economic. Bear in mind there is an election next month, and the current government has thrown about $1,400 million away on various “renewables” projects and that the local Treasurer (and Minister for Electricity) hasn’t demonstrated any grasp of simple arithmetic, in that he keeps claiming that more renewables at $180 replacing conventional sources at $100 will reduce prices.

  10. Bitter@twisted says:

    Like most politicians, Graeme, he can only count correctly when it comes to money that goes into his back pocket.

  11. USteiner says:

    What do you mean with “Britain needs to embrace…”? The whole world needs to!

    Except us in Germany; we have a better way of dealing with the problem: we rely on our friends to deliver us gas and oil, our friends in Russia, Turkey, Irak, Iran, Saudi Arbia, …

  12. David says:

    On Hydrogen
    Always produces water – a Greenhouse gas, similar to CO2.

  13. oldbrew says:

    Date: 15/02/18 Harry Wilkinson, The Conservative Woman

    Backed by Greenpeace, the BBC is continuing to mount a one-sided crusade against shale gas development.

    More of a vendetta than a crusade.

  14. oldbrew says:

    Date: 16/02/18 Energy Indepth

    For the second year in a row, “electricity is making up a smaller share of U.S. household bills than ever before,” a fact that can be traced directly to the fact that natural gas has retained its position as the No. 1 electricity generation producer in the U.S. in 2017.

    Can the message get any clearer?