Archive for the ‘fracking’ Category

River Amazon in the Peruvian rainforest

River Amazon in the Peruvian rainforest


The UK is importing from halfway round the world what could be produced by its own workforce within the country.

A tanker docking in the UK is transporting a controversial cargo of gas from the Peruvian Amazon, says BBC News. It is thought to be the first shipment to the UK from the Camisea project in rainforest 60 miles from Machu Picchu.

Supporters of fracking say the UK should frack its own gas, rather than importing from sensitive regions like the Amazon. But opponents of fracking say the practice creates disturbance and pollution and fuels climate change.

The tanker Gallina, owned by Shell, is scheduled to arrive at the Isle of Grain in Kent. The gas project at Camisea field has been hugely contentious.
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churcheng
Sometimes, that is. Any financial returns would also be acceptable no doubt.
H/T GWPF

The Church of England has concluded that fracking can be morally acceptable in a move that shale gas explorers hope could pave the way for drilling to take place on church land.

After years of internal debate on the issue, the church has published an extensive briefing paper giving cautious support for fracking subject to conditions, including strict regulation, environmental monitoring and compensation for those affected.

It concluded that fracking could be useful to tackle climate change as long as shale gas replaced dirtier energy sources. The position puts it at odds with groups such as Christian Aid, which opposes all fracking on climate grounds.
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So-called environmental campaigners telling porkies? Whatever next?

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

h/t Joe Public

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From the Times:

A green campaign group has agreed not to repeat misleading claims about the health and environmental impacts of fracking after complaints to the advertising watchdog.

Friends of the Earth spent more than a year trying to defend its claims, which were made in a fundraising leaflet, but has been forced to withdraw them.

The group’s capitulation is a victory for a retired vicar and a retired physics teacher who have been working for years to expose what they believe is scaremongering about a safe technique for extracting shale gas.

The Rev Michael Roberts and Ken Wilkinson complained about Friends of the Earth’s claims to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which also received a complaint from the fracking company Cuadrilla.

The authority found that Friends of the Earth (FoE) failed to substantiate claims that fracking could cause cancer, contaminate water supplies, increase…

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frackarea
Now these ‘campaigners’ know how wind turbine protesters feel when they get overruled in their neighbourhoods.

Anti-fracking campaigners have lost their legal challenge to a decision to allow fracking to take place in North Yorkshire reports BBC News. Third Energy was granted planning permission to extract shale gas at Kirby Misperton in Ryedale in May.

Friends of the Earth and residents had challenged North Yorkshire County Council’s decision in the High Court. Mrs Justice Lang ruled the council had acted lawfully.

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Familiar sight in Texas [image credit: StateImpact Texas]

Familiar sight in Texas [image credit: StateImpact Texas]


Close to a trillion dollars worth of oil at today’s prices – this should be music to the ears of the incoming Trump administration. Anti-fossil fuel groups not so much.
H/T GWPF

The US Geological Survey said Tuesday that it found what could be the largest deposit of untapped oil ever discovered in America, reports Business Insider.

An estimated average of 20 billion barrels of oil and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids are available for the taking in the Wolfcamp shale, which is in the Midland Basin portion of Texas’ Permian Basin. Based on a West Texas Intermediate crude oil price of $45 per barrel, those deposits are worth about $900 billion.

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US energy sources in 2015 [credit: EIA]

US energy sources in 2015 [credit: EIA]


A ‘$676 billion drag on the economy’ by going down the EU path, or ‘nearly half a trillion dollars’ from fracking? The U.S. chose fracking, as The Daily Caller points out.

The U.S. would lose more than 7 million jobs if it adopted the kind of energy policies popular in many European countries, according to a report published Friday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The European energy policies would impose a $676 billion drag on the U.S. economy, the report states, and result in Americans paying an extra $4,800 per year to heat their homes.

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Hydraulic fracturing wellhead  [image credit: Joshua Doubek / Wikipedia]

Hydraulic fracturing wellhead
[image credit: Joshua Doubek / Wikipedia]


Fracking permission takes a week in Texas but nine years in Britain, as the GWPF’s Dr Benny Peiser points out. Some objectors still claim the technique is unproven despite years of experience in the USA and elsewhere.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has upheld an appeal made by Cuadrilla in February against the decision by Lancashire County Council to refuse permission to carry out hydraulic fracturing at two sites in the region reports Utility Week.

In a letter to a lawyer representing the drilling company, Javid said it will be allowed to drill and then fracture four exploratory wells at its site on Preston New Road, subject to some conditions.

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uk-piggy-bankResidents affected by fracking could be paid a proportion of the proceeds of shale gas projects, the government has suggested.

A shale wealth fund was unveiled in 2014 to set aside up to 10% of the tax proceeds from fracking to benefit communities in the UK hosting wells.

The PM is now considering paying the money directly to individual households instead of councils and local trusts.

The plan is one option due to be outlined in a consultation on Monday.

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Shale formation for natural gas in Pennsylvania, USA.  [image credit:  businesskorea.co.kr]

Shale formation for natural gas in Pennsylvania, USA.
[image credit:
businesskorea.co.kr]


Another setback for fear-and-doubt merchants with this legal victory for shale gas development, as Somewhat Reasonable reports. Lack of evidence perhaps?

On Monday, May 2 the Colorado Supreme Court ruled on what the New York Times (NYT) called: “a lengthy battle for energy production.” The court’s unanimous decision to strike down two cities’ limits on fracking is a victory for oil-and-gas companies and a “disappointment” to anti-fossil-fuel activists. 

Several states, including Colorado’s neighbors, New Mexico and Texas, have faced similar anti-oil-and-gas initiatives that have also been shot down.

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Hydraulic fracturing wellhead  [image credit: Joshua Doubek / Wikipedia]

Hydraulic fracturing wellhead
[image credit: Joshua Doubek / Wikipedia]


It’s enough to make celebrity anti-fracking protesters choke on their cakes. — H/T Phys.org

Potential future fracking activity in the UK is unlikely to pose a pollution danger to overlying aquifers, new research from a leading academic suggests.

One of the primary concerns of those who oppose the development of shale gas by hydraulic fracturing is that creation of new fractures in the earth could cause fracking fluids to leak into, and contaminate, underground freshwater aquifers.

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Deletes Court Reports Exposing Collapsing “Pollution” Case

phelim_headshot

Phelim Macaleer : Fracknation.com

FACEBOOK has removed posts and suspended the page of a journalist covering a controversial court case after a targeted campaign by anti-fracking activists.

Journalist and filmmaker Phelim McAleer has condemned Facebook for allowing the censorship of posts that are court reports of an important case. The attacks on the FrackNation page started as McAleer’s posts on the alleged Dimock Water Pollution trial proved popular and revealed just how weak the case is.
Dimock is the village in Pennsylvania which has been described as the “ground zero”  of fracking pollution. It has featured in documentaries such as Gasland and hundreds of other national and international media articles.
Phelim McAleer, the director of the FrackNation documentary, is the only reporter permanently covering the case and his reports on the FrackNation Facebook page, before the page was shut down, revealed there was almost no evidence to back up the allegations in the lawsuit.

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The fracking disinfo campaign waged by FOE continues…

Peddling and Scaling God and Darwin

For a time I was an active member of Friends of the Earth and supported all they did.  I then moved house and job and my membership lapsed. That is something I regretted as I felt I should be do more for the environment and that Friends of the Earth was one of the best organisations doing that.

That remained the case until March 2014 when I went to a meeting organised by RAFF (Residents against Fracking; Fylde) at Inskip (10 miles from Preston). I was unimpressed with the low level of accuracy in the presentation. i challenged some of this and to my surprise the local FoE activist supported the speaker in the inaccuracies. In two minutes my respect for FoE evaporated. RAFF also handed out a leaflet Shale Gas; the Facts  which they withdrew after a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority.

https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/complaint-to-asa-against-raff-residents-action-on-fracking-fylde-for-gross-errors/

Over the next 15 months…

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North Sea oil and gas - a sunset industry? [image credit: matchtech.com]

North Sea oil and gas – a sunset industry? [image credit: matchtech.com]


The notion of an independent Scotland boosting its economy with the proceeds of North Sea oil may be looking a bit threadbare after the recent slump in the price of oil, but there could be another way forward as E&T Magazine reports.

Scotland should embrace fracking in order to gain economic independence from England according to the chief executive of chemicals company Ineos.

Jim Ratcliffe made his comments prior to a debate on the issue held today by the Scottish National Party (SNP) at its conference in Aberdeen, where party members narrowly rejected a bid to toughen up the stance on fracking amid calls for an outright ban.
Ineos has acquired fracking exploration licences across 700 square miles of central Scotland.

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Too late for OPEC to stop the shale revolution

Posted: August 6, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, fracking, shale oil
Tags:

[image credit: mining.com]

[image credit: mining.com]


Saudi Arabia may go broke before the US oil industry buckles, reports the Daily Telegraph.

If the oil futures market is correct, Saudi Arabia will start running into trouble within two years. It will be in existential crisis by the end of the decade.

The contract price of US crude oil for delivery in December 2020 is currently $62.05, implying a drastic change in the economic landscape for the Middle East and the petro-rentier states.

The Saudis took a huge gamble last November when they stopped supporting prices and opted instead to flood the market and drive out rivals, boosting their own output to 10.6m barrels a day (b/d) into the teeth of the downturn.

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LNG vessels [image credit: offshoreenergytoday.com]

LNG vessels [image credit: offshoreenergytoday.com]


This is part of the big US push to challenge the world leaders Russia and Qatar in the export of gas, mostly sourced from fracking sites. Expect a price war.

Bechtel announced today it has been selected by Delfin LNG, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fairwood Peninsula Energy Corporation, to perform front-end engineering and design for the first U.S.-based floating liquefied natural gas vessel (FLNGV) to go into service at Port Delfin. 

Port Delfin is a proposed deepwater port and floating LNG facility that will be located approximately 50 miles off the coastline of Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Delfin LNG’s project will be the first offshore floating natural gas liquefaction facility in the United States.

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More, Grossly Deceptive Reporting From The BBC

Posted: June 28, 2015 by oldbrew in bbcbias, fracking
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It’s obvious that whatever controls are supposed to be in place to ensure the BBC is ‘impartial’ – admittedly difficult to define, but you know when you’re not seeing it – are not working.

Lancashire CC has been warned it is likely to lose a legal challenge on appeal and will incur costs as a result.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-33211020

The BBC have been up to their tricks again.

A US environmental group has written to Lancashire County Council urging it to refuse permission to allow test drilling for fracking.

The letter, signed by 850 elected officials in New York State, comes days before the council decides whether to approve test drilling at two locations….

Elected Officials to Protect New York – made up of current and former politicians – has written to Lancashire’s councillors asking them to note the findings of a two-year study by New York State Department of Public Health.

In fact, the letter was not signed by “850 elected officials”, but just 10, not all of whom are elected either.

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http://www.nyelectedofficials.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/EOPNY-Letter-to-Lancashire.pdf

Many are no more than what we would call parish councillors. For instance, Cooperstown boasts an impressive population of just 1852, yet offers us two trustees to sign.

They have…

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USnatgas
The manufactured paranoia about threats to public water supplies from ‘fracking’ methods used to extract gas and oil turns out to be mostly hot air. Occasional problems have been due to mistakes basically.

Natural gas companies, people with property and/or mineral rights overlying shale formations containing commercial deposits of natural gas or oil, and American consumers breathed a sigh of relief last week when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its much anticipated report concerning the potential threat fracking poses to water supplies. The EPA found fracking only rarely results in water contamination, and even then it is mainly due to operator error or poor practices not to the method of oil and gas production itself.

According to the four year, multi-million dollar report, 1,399 page report, the EPA, “did not find evidence that these mechanisms [hydraulic fracturing] have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.”

Full story: Fracking Poses Minimal Risk to Water Supplies Concludes EPA | Heartlander Magazine.

#UKIPmanifesto : Keeping the lights on

Posted: April 15, 2015 by tallbloke in Accountability, Big Green, Energy, fracking
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From Page 39 of the UKIP manifesto

The three old parties collude to reinforce failing energy policies that will do nothing to reduce global emissions, but which will bring hardship to British families. Their ‘green’ agenda does not make them friends of the earth; it makes them enemies of the people.

Download UKIP energy policy

Roger Helmer MEP Energy Spokesman.

Britain is sleepwalking into an energy crisis. Families suffer as energy prices rise relentlessly. Millions of us are living in fuel poverty.

While our major global competitors – the USA, China, India – are switching to low-cost fossil fuels, we are forced to close perfectly good coal-fired power stations to meet unattainable targets for renewable capacity. If we carry on like this, the lights are likely to go out.

Why? Because the 2008 Climate Change Act, an Act rooted in EU folly, drives up costs, undermines competitiveness and hits jobs and growth. Dubbed ‘the most expensive piece of legislation in British history,’ the government’s own figures put the cost of the Act at £18 billion a year over 40 years, or £720 billion between 2010 and 2050.The Climate Change Act is doing untold damage. UKIP will repeal it.

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Via GWPF H/T Benny Peiser.

Europe Moves Closer To Shale Gas Development 
Take That, Vladimir: German Government Approves Fracking
Yesterday, two major events took place, bringing Europe a step closer towards developing a domestic shale gas industry. In the UK the Infrastructure Bill has been given Royal Assent and in Germany the Federal Government held a public hearing on the planned hydraulic fracturing draft law. Shale Gas Europe, 13 February 2015

U.S. natural gas production is poised to reach a record for a fifth year as shale drillers boost efficiency, driving prices toward a low of more than a decade. Output will rise 3.2 percent in 2015, led by gains at the Marcellus formation, the nation’s biggest shale deposit, according to the Energy Information Administration. Marcellus production will increase 2.8 percent through February after a 21 percent gain in 2014, a year when prices tumbled 32 percent. Producers in Pennsylvania and West Virginia have cut break-even costs by half since 2008, according to Oppenheimer & Co. –Naureen Malik,Bloomberg, 7 February 2015

1) Europe Moves Closer To Shale Gas Development – Shale Gas Europe, 13 February 2015

2) Take That, Vladimir: German Government Approves Fracking – EurActiv, 13 February 2015

3) Unstoppable Shale Revolution Poised For New Record Gas Production – Bloomberg, 7 February 2015

4) Matt Ridley: Giving Up On Shale Would Be A Big Mistake – The Times, 9 February 2015

5) Hail Shale: New American Shale Record – The American Interest, 11 February 2015

The German government has issued a draft law allowing fracking in shale and coal bed rock starting at a depth of 3,000 metres, permitting test fracking above 3,000 metres. After a long debate over the use of fracking technology in Germany, the federal government issued a draft law allowing the controversial gas extraction method under certain conditions and in isolated cases. —EurActiv, 13 February 2015

Environmental impact assessments do not have to be mandatory for shale gas exploration, the EU court has ruled.—ENDS Europe, 13 February 2015

Gas really is rather special: it provides us in this country with 84 per cent of our domestic heat, 27 per cent of our electricity, much of the feedstock for our synthetic consumer products, and pretty well all of the nitrogen fertiliser that has fed the world and largely banished famine. All this from a surprisingly small number of surprisingly small holes in the ground and the seabed, drilled with fewer accidents and spills than most other energy sources. That is one reason why I will be arguing and voting to help the government improve its Infrastructure Bill today when it comes before the House of Lords, so as to make a shale gas industry in this country possible. –Matt Ridley, The Times, 9 February 2015

Shale gas extraction is a process that has proved very safe and clean in the United States. It has had virtually no impact on groundwater, earthquakes or surface pollution anywhere. These are exaggerated myths constantly repeated by the wealthy multinational pressure groups such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, by wealthy fashion designers and their nimby friends in gin-and-jag country, and by Vladimir Putin and other Russians with an interest in expensive gas. –Matt Ridley, The Times, 9 February 2015

American power plants burned more natural gas last month than ever before. Power generators used an average 23.1 billion cubic feet per day of gas in January 2015, up 13 percent from the 20.5 bcfd average in January 2014, according to Thomson Reuters Analytics. That was the most gas consumed by the power sector during the month of January on record, according to federal data going back to 1973. —The American Interest, 11 February 2015

1) Europe Moves Closer To Shale Gas Development
Shale Gas Europe, 13 February 2015

Yesterday, two major events took place, bringing Europe a step closer towards developing a domestic shale gas industry. In the UK the Infrastructure Bill has been given Royal Assent and in Germany the Federal Government held a public hearing on the planned hydraulic fracturing draft law.

The UK Infrastructure Bill is designed to simplify procedures for the onshore oil, gas and deep geothermal industries to access reserves 300 metres or more underground.  According to the Government further legislation will follow in July to provide more clarity on some of the specific amendments introduced  covering hydraulic fracturing, specifically exploration in National Parks and water protection zones.

In Germany, the Federal Environment and Economy Ministries hosted a public hearing in Berlin yesterday into its proposed draft law which seeks to regulate the exploration of unconventional resources in the country. A broad range of consultees gave evidence supporting the need to ensure that any exploration is conducted within an environmentally sustainable framework.  Equally clear was the need for a pragmatic approach to the Government’s energy policy to help provide security of supply and drive competitiveness. The Government is expected to finalise the draft outline in the coming weeks before submitting it to the Bundestag to be debated by Members.

Both the UK and Germany face critical energy challenges, becoming increasingly dependent on foreign imports. If this is going to be addressed effectively then both governments need to find alternative sources of domestic production. Renewables can only provide part of the solution.

In the UK production from the North Sea continues to decline. Total energy production was 6.6% lower in 2013 than in the previous year, resulting in an increase in imports of 2.3% and rising UK’s import dependency to 47%.

Germany is also seeing a significant rise in imports. In 2013 it imported 63% of its energy from abroad, an increase of 2% in 2012.  Its energy dependency is at its highest in 20 years and is currently 10% higher than the EU average. Germans however seem aware of the need for a pragmatic approach. According to a public survey conducted last October by Forsa, the leading market research and opinion polling institution, 70% of German citizens support the idea of exploring and assessing unconventional resources. 79% are also aware of the fact that natural gas and oil will be required to ensure a safe and affordable energy supply for the foreseeable future.

Full story

2) Take That, Vladimir: German Government Approves Fracking
EurActiv, 13 February 2015

The German government has issued a draft law allowing fracking in shale and coal bed rock starting at a depth of 3,000 metres, permitting test fracking above 3,000 metres.

The German government has tabled a draft law permitting fracking in the country, with environmental associations criticising the draft as fragmented and risky, calling on the government to concentrate on implementing the Energiewende, instead. EurActiv Germany reports.

After a long debate over the use of fracking technology in Germany, the federal government issued a draft law allowing the controversial gas extraction method under certain conditions and in isolated cases.

German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks made every effort to dispel concerns over the controversial gas extraction technology. “In this way, we are applying the strictest rules that have ever existed in the fracking industry,” the Social Democratic Party (SPD) politician assured.

It will only be permitted under the strictest conditions and with the highest regard for the environment and drinking water, she said. The earliest possible date for initiation would be in 2019, because sample drillings must first be conducted to gather the necessary knowledge on the technology, Hendricks explained.

Full story

3) Unstoppable Shale Revolution Poised For New Record Gas Production
Bloomberg, 7 February 2015

Naureen Malik

U.S. natural gas production is poised to reach a record for a fifth year as shale drillers boost efficiency, driving prices toward a low of more than a decade.
Output will rise 3.2 percent in 2015, led by gains at the Marcellus formation, the nation’s biggest shale deposit, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Marcellus production will increase 2.8 percent through February after a 21 percent gain in 2014, a year when prices tumbled 32 percent. Producers in Pennsylvania and West Virginia have cut break-even costs by half since 2008, according to Oppenheimer & Co.

Drilling more wells at one site and extending the length of horizontal wells are among the efficiencies that have helped gas companies cope with falling prices. The EIA expects Marcellus to climb to about 20 percent of production in the lower 48 states from about 2 percent in 2007. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., the biggest Marcellus producer, plans to increase output by at least 20 percent this year.

“The Marcellus has been a game changer in terms of production, reserve potential, everything,” said Fadel Gheit, a senior energy analyst for Oppenheimer & Co. in New York. “They are not waiting for higher gas prices to bail them out.”

Gas Prices

Natural gas futures fell 2.1 cents to $2.579 per million British thermal units Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since June 2012. Gas has declined 81 percent from a high in 2008 as production from shale formations increased, touching $1.907 in April 2012, the lowest since 2002.

Break-even prices for Marcellus producers have dropped below $2 per thousand cubic feet ($1.95 per million Btu) from around $4 in 2008, Gheit said in a Feb. 3 interview.

U.S. gas production growth was projected to slow to 1.4 percent last year, the least since a decline in 2005, the EIA said in December 2013. Instead, output jumped 5.6 percent. Efficiency gains at Marcellus producer Range Resources Inc. include plans to increase the length of underground horizontal wells by 36 percent to 6,200 feet (1,890 meters), with a third of the total topping 7,000 feet, according to a Jan. 15 company presentation. Range used drilling efficiencies to cut costs to $2.64 per thousand cubic feet in 2014 from $3.01 in 2012.

Shale Deposits
The company said it’s targeting 20 percent to 25 percent production growth “for many years.”

Southwestern Energy Corp.’s output may rise 28 percent this year as it drills longer wells, increases pipeline capacity and after spending $5.4 billion to acquire shale fields, according to a Dec. 30 company conference call.

Full story

4) Matt Ridley: Giving Up On Shale Would Be A Big Mistake
The Times, 9 February 2015

With oil prices so cheap and scaremongers in full cry, it might be tempting to forget shale. That would be a big mistake

I don’t know about you, but I have been especially glad of my gas-fired central heating and hot water in the past few frigid weeks. Gas really is rather special: it provides us in this country with 84 per cent of our domestic heat, 27 per cent of our electricity, much of the feedstock for our synthetic consumer products, and pretty well all of the nitrogen fertiliser that has fed the world and largely banished famine. All this from a surprisingly small number of surprisingly small holes in the ground and the seabed, drilled with fewer accidents and spills than most other energy sources.

That is one reason why I will be arguing and voting to help the government improve its Infrastructure Bill today when it comes before the House of Lords, so as to make a shale gas industry in this country possible. When the bill was debated in the Commons, shale’s increasingly irrational opponents failed to impose an effective moratorium in England, though they have managed it in Wales and Scotland. But they still altered the Infrastructure Bill enough to tie the industry in strangling knots of new and unnecessary red tape that must be reversed if we are to see domestic shale gas heating British homes, paying British wages, feeding British factories, generating British electricity and not delivering us into dependence on a dangerous Russia.

As a source of energy, gas is more reliable than wind, cleaner than coal, more flexible than solar, cheaper than nuclear, safer than biofuel, less land-hungry than hydro. We will be burning it for decades to come under any policy. The National Grid’s extreme “gone green” scenario for future energy policy, under which we would have cut our carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent by the year 2035 still sees us burning almost as much gas in that year as we burn today.

So we will still need gas, whatever happens. Domestic production, mainly from the North Sea, has fallen by 66 per cent in the past decade and we now import half our gas. Beneath Lancashire and Yorkshire, in the Bowland shale, lies one of the richest gas resources ever discovered, just 10 per cent of which would be enough to provide nearly 50 years of British needs.

The technology to get it out involves using water and sand to make cracks that are a millimetre wide in rocks that are a mile and a half down. A month’s work leads to 25 years of gas flow from a quiet box of tricks that can be hidden behind a hedge. No need to festoon the hills with permanent concrete bases for 400ft towers of steel trying to suck a sparse trickle of energy out of the wind on a cold, calm day.

Shale gas extraction is a process that has proved very safe and clean in the United States. It has had virtually no impact on groundwater, earthquakes or surface pollution anywhere. These are exaggerated myths constantly repeated by the wealthy multinational pressure groups such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, by wealthy fashion designers and their nimby friends in gin-and-jag country, and by Vladimir Putin and other Russians with an interest in expensive gas. In places such as Pennsylvania the effect of shale gas has been job creation, wealth creation and environmental benefits. Blackpool could do with more well-paying jobs.

Some are now arguing that falling oil prices have rendered the argument over British shale gas academic. Prices have fallen so low as to make the cost of drilling wells and fracturing rocks uneconomic. Certainly if oil stays at $50 a barrel, the rig count in the shale-oil fields of Texas and North Dakota will continue to drop fast, and oil production (currently still rising) will tail off. But shale gas production has been rising fast in recent years despite persistently low gas prices in America, partly because of rapid improvement in the productivity and cost of gas wells as the practice of horizontal drilling and fracking is perfected. […]

We have a huge chemical industry in this country, employing hundreds of thousands of people directly and indirectly, and it needs methane and ethane, derived from natural gas wells, as feedstock. That industry will disappear rapidly if we do not exploit domestic shale. It has repeatedly warned us of this.

Full post

5) Hail Shale: New American Shale Record
The American Interest, 11 February 2015

American power plants burned more natural gas last month than ever before. Reuters reports:

Power generators used an average 23.1 billion cubic feet per day of gas in January 2015, up 13 percent from the 20.5 bcfd average in January 2014, according to Thomson Reuters Analytics.

That was the most gas consumed by the power sector during the month of January on record, according to federal data going back to 1973.

The shale boom has unleashed a torrent of new sources of natural gas, and that abundant supply has depressed prices to the point that its squeezing out other potential power sources. American coal consumption is being hit by this, which is notable for two reasons: first, coal is often thought of as the cheapest fossil fuel around, which makes the fact that natural gas is displacing it all the more impressive. Second, coal is a dirty energy source, in terms of both local air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Burning natural gas as opposed to coal can cut those emissions in half.

So this winter, know that not only has the shale boom keep heating bills down across America, but that it’s been a boon for the environment as well.

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