PM Overrules Energy Regulator

Posted: March 9, 2022 by oldbrew in Energy, fracking, government
Tags: ,

Let’s hope this decision is not just a publicity stunt to be kicked around for the duration of the Ukraine disaster, with no end result.


By Paul Homewood

According to press reports, the Prime Minister has opened the door to the revival of the UK’s shale gas industry in the aftermath of the Government’s ban on imports of Russian oil.

According to the Daily Telegraph “the Prime Minister wants his ministers to look again at whether fracking, which has been under a moratorium for more than two years, can help diversify the country’s energy supply.”

Officials are said to be working on an “energy supply strategy”.

Meanwhile, the US administration is ratcheting up pressure on shale gas producers, telling them they should be doing “whatever it takes” to increase shale supplies and tame energy prices that have soared following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Even the EU’s newly released energy plan makes absolutely clear that the first and overriding priority is to obtain non-Russian natural gas to shore up security of supply.

Net Zero…

View original post 108 more words

  1. oldbrew says:

    Could well be a publicity stunt…

    FRACK ATTACK Boris Johnson to ‘look at all options’ on fracking but ban stays in place for now
    14:02, 9 Mar 2022

    It comes after ministers last night gave two sites in Lancashire a last-minute reprieve from being concreted over.

    Insiders said they could be used for research instead, and are expected to give them until June to concrete them over.

    But today fracking firm Cuadrilla said they hadn’t yet been told about any change of policy.

  2. Stephen Richards says:

    Publicity. The simplest thing for him to do is to say the green agenda is dead. We start fracking right now. He hasn’t said that and the fracking companies are not going to restart on his flimsy words.

  3. Johna says:

    Its no good making excuse for this idiot. Bonkers Johnston doesn’t have a clue and we cant run the country with this fool. Starmers solutions are also useless and very disappointing.

  4. Gamecock says:

    Government doesn’t drill. Companies do. Companies have zero reason to trust the government enough to invest any of their own money in anything. The well has been poisoned. Or filled with concrete.

  5. Graeme No.3 says:

    We are having an election here in South Australia (I assume it has escaped your notice). Both major parties are promising for my electorate…
    1. A new or large up-grade to the existing hospital (population has doubled in last 5-6 years).
    2. An up-grade to transport to Adelaide city (freeway is heavily congested in peak hours).

    At the previous election 4 years ago, GUESS what the major parties were promising.

    And by-the-way my Barber is originally from Leeds and is a staunch Labor (but not Labour since Corbyn) supporter and not at all fond of the Conservatives. He said (today) “Boris isn’t the windblown fool people think. He’s quite calculating & devious”.

  6. Phoenix44 says:

    I will say two things about Johnson.

    1. He has no scruples or beliefs.

    2. His one talent is sometimes sensing which way the wind is starting to blow.

  7. oldbrew says:

    Green Energy Puts US Electric Grid in Peril
    Posted 7 Hours Ago by Ron Clutz

    Matthew Kandrach writes at Real Clear Energy: America’s Emerging Energy Crisis.

    Europe’s decision to race away from coal and close much of its nuclear power capacity before having reliable alternatives in place, has left it at the mercy of Russian natural gas imports and soaring global gas prices. Energy security – now more so than since the energy crises of the 1970s – requires careful attention.
    – – –
    Can’t put ‘reliable’ and ‘renewables’ in the same sentence.

  8. dscott8186 says:

    Lucy (politician) is holding the football, will Charlie Brown (public) take the bait one more time just to have the ball taken away at the last second? Will Charlie be laying flat on his back yet again from Lucy’s false promise to not trick him again?

    They want the price of fuel to go up but not this fast and Putin knows it. So now the green scammers are in a quandary, delay the scam for a decade risking billions in graft or risk being tossed from office before the chance of fleecing the public passes them by? Putin is a crook fleecing his own countrymen, he knows the greenies are crooks too. Whether it is the greens, Putin or Xi, they are all crooks enriching themselves, each taking advantage of the other’s weakness at the most opportune time for themselves.

  9. tallbloke says:

    “For years British energy policy has been an exercise in wishful thinking. We’ve been living in a fantasy world in which Britain can somehow achieve ‘net zero’ by 2050 without paying any serious economic price, and with no one significantly poorer as a result. ‘Not a hair-shirt in sight,’ said the Prime Minister, though most independent assessments said net zero would cost between £36,000 and £50,000 per household.

    Reality, now, is biting. Reducing emissions is important but security of supply is vital, and Europe has been forced to come to terms with its dependence on Russian oil and gas. The dependence is so entrenched that it is possible Vladimir Putin thought that Europe would rather leave Ukraine undefended than impose sanctions. If this was Putin’s thinking, it was a miscalculation. Europe has collectively chosen pain. The question is now to ameliorate it.

    Boris Johnson has proposed a new energy plan, due this month. The European Union has said it will cut Russian imports by two-thirds by the end of the year: quite an ambition, given that Russia supplies about half of Germany’s gas imports and almost all of that imported by Finland and the Baltic states. A frantic search for alternatives has begun which has ushered in a new era of energy realism. The German Greens are softening in their opposition to nuclear power, and there are signs that No. 10 is letting go of the net zero agenda.

    At present, it costs about £1,300 to heat the average home. By some estimates this will rise to £3,000 later this year, and that is before the other inflationary costs of food and basic shopping as a result of the sanctions. As Javier Blas argues in his article, the effect of the Ukraine war is all the greater because so many companies the world over are voluntarily imposing sanctions, compounding the effect of the official measures. Even if the conflict were to reach a swift resolution, relations with Russia are now so bad that sanctions are likely to remain in place for some time.

    America is perhaps the least exposed of all western countries. More than a decade ago, it embraced hydraulic fracking technology to release its own gas supplies, and as a result is now self-sufficient in energy. It is no longer dependent on imports and is therefore less exposed to world energy turmoil. Britain had a great opportunity as a result of its huge shale reserves in the north of England. But local opposition inspired Johnson to impose a moratorium on fracking ahead of the 2019 election.

    This has left Britain without many alternatives. The North Sea gas fields are run down, without any investment in storage facilities, leaving the UK completely at the mercy of a volatile global market in Liquid Natural Gas. Renewables have improved remarkably, and now generate about a third of domestic power. We have phased out coal. But we remain hugely dependent on gas – and horribly exposed to the staggering price increases. We can expect power cuts when the wind turbines we now rely on fail in calm weather. Against such a backdrop, net zero can’t last. The UK needs a grown-up energy policy instead.

    The first step would be to dramatically increase production of our own oil and gas. Fields in the North Sea need to be brought back onstream, and we need urgently to restart fracking and exploiting the vast reserves of oil and gas in the north of England. Jobs and tax revenues would follow, and so as well as providing energy security, this might also be an opportunity to level up.

    Advances in technology have already helped Britain reduce its carbon emissions more over the past decade than any other G20 country. The free market and innovation give us new ways to get more from less. Cars need far less petrol to travel the same distance, and the entire economy is becoming less energy-intensive. It’s far from clear that massive green levies and huge government bribes are the only way to achieve a cleaner, greener future – especially given the increasing consumer demand for low-carbon, low-waste lifestyles.

    The UK should retain its status as a world leader in reducing carbon emissions, but it should not try to go further and faster than our major industrial rivals. That would come at too great a political and economic cost, with no significant benefit to the planet. We need a joined-up energy policy that combines security of supply, economic stability and geopolitical realism. Electric cars and heat pumps can wait until they are affordable for the average household.

    The need for a new energy plan presents the Prime Minister with an opportunity. If Robert Habeck, the leader of the German Greens, can find it within himself to put in place plans for a strategic coal reserve to wean his country off Russian gas, than surely Johnson – a politician with the lightest of ideological baggage – can move on from his commitment to net zero. He doesn’t need to disavow it; he can just let it drop. There are new priorities now, and we can lose no time in addressing them.”

  10. oldbrew says:

    Officials are said to be working on an “energy supply strategy”
    – – –
    Suggests there wasn’t one before 😟

    And now…

    With the Foreign Secretary batting for UK shale gas, Boris is warned not to bottle it
    Thursday 10th March 2022 | Press Release

    The Cabinet is now evidently split on the shale gas ban and the Prime Minister will have to decide in the next couple of weeks which side he is on.

    A chance to be positive about Britain – tough one eh?

  11. Johna says:

    Its one thing that our incompetent corrupt and inhuman politicians have been allowed to cause this mess, as there now exists the distinct possibility of them Causing WW3 – and the likely cold blooded slaughter of hundreds of millions of people. But to advocate more new nuclear power as a knee jerk option for electricity when the zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (and many more) could be blown-up on purpose, causing unimaginable destruction of habitat for centuries, is not only naïve it is utter madness. Yes by all means if it is possible to restore some nuclear (HP B in the UK) as a short term fix lets include it. For the medium to longer term, however, we need to have a strategically derived energy mix to provide affordable and reliable electricity, gasses and by products. Coal therefore must be included back (UK) into this strategic energy mix as it can provide electricity Methane Hydrogen refined oils and most chemicals we get from crude oil. That will give many countries time to see if wind tidal solarthermal hydro biomass PV is cheaper and available world wide where we must be competitive in open markets. NB If Johnstone and Biden can remedy past / on-going mistakes especially their mistaken understanding of CO2 and apologise and make piece with the working and middle classes, that’s the only way our capability can be rebuilt to take on the tuff challenges we face – call it an olive branch from the people you may hate and have dumped on.

  12. dscott8186 says:

    I suspect that the EU pols will breathe a sigh of relief however the Ukraine situation is resolved, whether Russia or Ukraine prevails so they can get back to fleecing the taxpayers with their green scam. Hence the “deliberation” is a stall tactic in the hopes they can get back on course.

  13. oldbrew says:

    Fracking is still looked on as a last resort. The idea of making pots of money from it doesn’t enter the equation.

    The race is on for affordable energy for the UK’s homes and businesses
    Published 9 hours ago

    There’s a new buzz phrase in government: energy independence.

    The war in Ukraine has focused ministers’ minds on the need to stop procuring energy from abroad and, when it comes to Russia, financing a foe in the process.
    . . .
    So what’s the plan?

    Well, the week after next, the prime minister and business secretary are expected to set out their “energy supply strategy”.

    It’s likely to focus on four core areas: nuclear energy, renewable energy, making homes more energy efficient, and increasing North Sea oil and gas production.
    – – –
    How do you get ‘affordable energy’ by paying vast subsidies to renewables and nuclear? Just the usual empty-headed government spin.

  14. Johna says:

    I agree it’s just plain stupidity from a Prime Minister who is purported to be cunning but in reality hasn’t got a clue about the intricate technical details needed to have a coherent and strategic energy mix that must provide 24/7/365/25 electricity gas oil and coal for domestic use and industrial manufacture. Strategic meaning that if any one of the inputs goes down or is too expensive there’s enough capacity from the rest to keep it going at the same output cost. The other thing he and his band of cunning nitwits miss is the complete breakdown of the high standard of technical skills that’s required to make this happen as well as the raw materials and the means to turn these in to usable products at a cost well below the market rates and imports. This is how we gain the competitive edge in manufacturing. There’s lots more that need properly resolving that play into this major issue he has created and evidently going to make worse.

  15. tallbloke says:


    Boris Johnson will set up an energy task force to bolster the UK’s oil, gas and nuclear supplies as he plots a way out of the energy crisis.

    Two senior industry experts at its head will report directly to the Prime Minister and advise on a ‘transition period’ focusing on fossil fuels – as the Government signals its clearest move yet away from the Net Zero target.

    Sources said the task force has the twin aim of boosting the UK’s energy self-sufficiency in the wake of the war in Ukraine and keeping household energy bills down.

    Government insiders have privately admitted the Government’s focus on decarbonising the economy by 2050 has to be dropped in the short term.

    It comes as the Prime Minister stressed the need for Europe to rid itself of its dependency on Russian oil and gas, and Ministers grapple with spiralling heating costs.

    ‘We don’t want to be at the mercy of brutal dictators like Putin,’ said a source familiar with the plan.

    One insider said: ‘Net Zero is dead.’ Another said a clear directive against the ‘green agenda’ and away from Net Zero has been set by political strategist Sir Lynton Crosby, who has been advising the Prime Minister.

    Last night, a senior Downing Street source insisted the Net Zero 2050 target has not been scrapped and was still the ultimate goal. But they admitted that in the short term the focus will shift back to fossil fuels to ease the pain for British households.

    This will include oil and gas from the North Sea and Canada, while fracking is also now on the table.

    The source insisted, though, that ‘in the long term the goal is still the same’ on renewable energy and Net Zero.

    The new task force is also expected to produce actionable plans for boosting the UK’s use of solar and wind power and nuclear energy – developing ‘more reliable home-grown British energy’.

    However, the source added the pursuit of Net Zero would be out of ‘practical necessity, not lofty green commitments’.

    The task force will be ‘very action-focused’, sources said, with its two experts empowered to ‘cut through’ Civil Service red tape and bring together the Treasury, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department and planning departments. Two candidates – one academic and another involved in energy finance – are in discussions for the positions.

    The roles have been modelled in part on Kate Bingham, who was brought in to chair the UK vaccine task force in 2020.

    Downing Street Chief of Staff Steve Barclay will chair a Cabinet sub-committee focusing on revamping energy policy.

    Last week, The Mail on Sunday revealed that Nigel Farage was launching a campaign for a referendum on the 2050 target.

    It comes as MPs and peers have urged the Government to open the door to commercial fracking to exploit the UK’s shale gas reserves and help reduce its dependence on foreign gas. The calls have been backed by Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg.

    Nearly 40 members of the Tory Net Zero Security Group have written to the Prime Minister to urge him to stop the UK’s two shale gas wells being concreted over this week.

    Civil servants have been accused by Government insiders of being ‘too risk-averse’ and ‘institutional’ in their approach to fracking.

    Critics say uncertainty over fracking generating enough energy is outweighed by its environmental risks.

    The Prime Minister will launch his energy strategy as part of a push to refocus on the domestic agenda. Mr Johnson has told aides: ‘We cannot let war become the new Covid.’

    He is said to regard the UK’s increased flow of weapons to eastern European countries to see off the Kremlin threat as a chance to boost jobs – especially in Red Wall seats.

    2) Fracking firm: If Boris lifts the ban we could be pumping shale gas this year
    Mail on Sunday, 13 March 2022

    Extracting natural gas from shale rocks could begin within a year if the Government lifts its controversial ban, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

    Energy exploration firm IGas has said it could prepare a planning application within weeks for a location in Nottinghamshire which could heat up to 125,000 homes.

    It added that, with Government help to speed up the process, it could begin a ‘commercial pilot’ in as little as nine months after approval was received – producing gas that would be useable in homes.

    A ban on pumping natural gas out of shale rocks, known as fracking, has been in place since 2019 after an outcry over earthquakes in Lancashire linked to a pioneering site run by the Cuadrilla company.

    The ban effectively shut down Britain’s fracking industry and Cuadrilla’s wells are due to be sealed permanently in weeks.

    But with Britain facing an energy crisis, Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week reopened the door to shale oil extraction.

    Following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, spikes in oil and gas prices have triggered a debate on how the UK can become less reliant on energy from overseas.

    A clutch of political figures have called for a fresh look at fracking – which involves pumping sand, water and chemicals into rocks at high pressure to release trapped gas or oil – and advocates of the industry made the case for shale gas at a presentation in the House of Commons last week.

    The Mail on Sunday understands that Tory former Transport Minister Chris Grayling and Conservative MP Miriam Cates were among those in attendance at the event.

    The presentation by trade body UK Onshore Oil and Gas, seen by the MoS, claims fracking in Britain could create 64,000 jobs and trigger £33billion of investment. Failure to develop UK shale gas will see £260billion of capital sent overseas, it claims.

    IGas had been developing a shale site at Springs Road in Misson, Nottinghamshire, before the 2019 moratorium.

    Planning permission for the site ran out in 2020 and an application to extend it was refused. IGas plans to formally close the site at the end of the year. It is estimated that if the site was fully developed, it could create ten wells producing between 60billion and 80billion cubic feet of shale gas in total.

    IGas development director Ross Glover said a planning application could be submitted as early as next month if the moratorium were lifted.

    He added: ‘There is a significant need for gas and we believe we can help, and much quicker than we originally thought. But we need a streamlined regulatory system which will enable us to get this going.’

    Charles McAllister, policy manager of UK Onshore Oil and Gas, said: ‘A lifting of the moratorium would not be enough. The Government would need to make sure the planning and permit regimes do not inhibit development.’ The industry has argued that the impact on the environment is not as significant as some fear and that extraction techniques have improved.

    But a softening attitude towards fracking would probably cause a public backlash and anti-fracking campaigners have threatened to stage protests if the moratorium is lifted.

    IGas shares shot up 62 per cent last week – in part due to hopes the fracking ban may be overturned. IGas is worth a modest £36million. Energy giants such as BP and Shell have shunned British shale.

    The renewed focus on fracking comes as Cuadrilla prepares to seal its two wells in Lancashire this week. The Government’s Oil and Gas Authority has set a legal deadline of June 30 to seal the wells with concrete, which is estimated to take two to three months. Cuadrilla is urging the Government to withdraw the instruction.

    Life peer Lord Lilley, who attended the Westminster event, called for the Government to move quickly to allow fracking in Britain. He told the MoS: ‘Just do it.’

    He said Britain is ‘the only country in Western Europe sitting on massive gas reserves’ while at the same time proposing to cement over the top of fresh wells.

    ‘People say Putin’s gone mad, but over there they must be thinking we have caught the same infection,’ he added.

  16. oldbrew says:

    an outcry over earthquakes in Lancashire

    Mostly equivalent to a heavy goods vehicle going over a bridge.
    – – –
    What a real energy policy looks like…

    China To Expand Coal Use As It Prioritizes Energy Security
    Mar 11, 2022

    Despite pledges to contribute to global efforts of reducing emissions, China will continue to maximize the use of coal in coming years as it caters to its energy security, the top Chinese policymakers said this week.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping has told representatives from its biggest coal-producing region, Inner Mongolia, that China “could not part from reality” and that it is “rich in coal, poor in oil and short of gas,” Reuters reported on Friday.

    The energy transition is a long process and China cannot just “slam the brakes” on coal, according to Xi.

    energy transition is a long process … because you have to wait for a miracle and there’s no sign of one to date.
    – – –
    Germany reactivates coal power plants amid Russian gas supply threats
    9 Mar 2022 (updated: 10 Mar 2022)

    “If we want to be more independent, we will have to operate with coal”

  17. oldbrew says:

    We have a plan…maybe…

    Government mulls plans to ask coal plants to stay open
    Officials are talking to EDF, the French energy giant, to see if it could keep the West Burton A plant going.

    14 March 2022
    – – –
    If the price is right…make us an offer we can’t refuse!

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