Category Archives: Gas

The UK Energy Do Nothing Club.

donothingAnother year, another chance to compare what has happened in the UK versus the USA.

It was August 2008 when I first talked about shale gas here, almost the first anywhere in Europe outside of the oil press. Cuadrilla had just received their license, and Peter Turner, Mark Miller and Chris Cornelius and others wanted to get the gas out of the rocks that Peter Turner thought was there. By 2011 they were drilling wells and getting some amazing core samples. But the resources have stayed under the ground.  

It’s pretty depressing to think that almost 2600 days later, not a single UK shale molecule has been produced. That’s even worse when considering the UK’s involvement in WW2 was less than 2190 days. But those were the days when the country could do things. Today, we couldn’t get planning permission for Dunkirk, let alone D Day.

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Break out the brews. Great news on gas and climate.

bintangTwo incredibly good pieces of news in the past couple of days. I was going to write about the US EPA report on water, and point out how the UK press has completely ignored this huge story. It seems they prefer to repeat disinformation, calumnies and outright lies about shale with alarming frequency if they come within press releases from experts like Friends of the Earth. Essentially an innocent industry has been cleared, but without that verdict being printed, people like Andy Burhnam MP are going to give an incomplete opinion.

But there is something way bigger today:

Research by London School of Economics suggests the world could now avoid warming of more than 2C

Continue reading Break out the brews. Great news on gas and climate.

The new Climate Deniers are Natural Gas Deniers.

i can do itThis November in Paris, the WPCC 2015 World Climate Conference will be held. Given the amount of countries involved, there have already been various meetings ahead of it, and it’s clear that the two greatest emitter of carbon are out to solve the issue via a variety of ways, but the original road starts with abundant natural gas knocking coal out of the picture.  

If one listens to the Green Parties and Guardians of the world, this is the last chance to save the planet, a narrative that dates from all the other failed conferences over the years. It’s worth a quick look back to the previous summit in  Copenhagen as reported in No Hot Air in 2009. Since then there have been smaller conferences about conferences which didn’t achieve anything either, apart from Greenpeace vandalising the Nazca Lines last year. To the natural gas industry, the solution in 2009 had already fallen out of the sky as Tim Wirth noted, but this was a case of too soon. Aubrey McClendon, then of Chesapeake noted that European gas regulators had no idea of what he was talking about.

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Second, and more, opinions on fracking and health.

quack-doctor-788714-e1419140773623Perhaps it’s because I’ve had much experience with doctors sticking needles into me lately, I’m starting to think about how germane it is for doctors to stick their oars into the shale debate.

I’m an especially phlegmatic and uncomplaining patient. My experience being married to a nurse and my several years experience around buying gas and power for the NHS means that I trust a doctor even more than most people. Given a youthful history of smoking, drinking and going out every night for twenty years, I’m in great shape, rarely having even a sneeze but making up for it by getting spectacularly ill every ten years of so since my twenties. I’m here today, having gone through far worse, because I listen to doctors, at least most of the time.

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The Storm before the Calm: UK shale opponents evaporate

irrelevantI’ve been using a variation of this line since 2008: “I’ve been in the natural gas business for 24 years and the first 17 were really boring”. But I think it’s going to get boring again and we can all worry about important stuff again.

We’ve had the storm, now it’s time for the calm in UK onshore oil and gas. Note how I include oil and don’t differentiate between shale and “conventional”. We may be entering a phase where the industry will be allowed to just do it. 

Continue reading The Storm before the Calm: UK shale opponents evaporate

Energiewende reality check

mad-science-200x200No one can fail to be impressed by Germany’s efforts in the Energiewende, loosely translated as “energy turn” or “energy transformation”. But is it no more than a relic of the peak oil and nuclear fears prevalent in 2009 post Fukushima? What is the view from 2015?

The Energiewende is giving shale operators world wide a lot of another German word import: Angst. Greens insist that there are a suite of alternatives to both fossil fuels and nuclear power and that Germany provides an example to the UK, Ireland, New York State etc etc. This from Mark Ruffalo for example: 

Earlier in the interview, Ruffalo stressed the potential of renewable energy sources like “wind, water and solar.” Citing the prevalence of solar energy in Germany, Ruffalo remarked “America’s being left behind. We’re being left behind all over the world.”

In the interview, Ruffalo misspoke in stating that 30 percent of Germany’s electricity is generated from solar power — the figure is actually three percent. Although he was mistaken, he later apologized on Twitter

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UK ERC on shale gas

icon-availabilityThe UK Energy Research Centre Report on “The UK’s Global Gas Challenge” and the headlines about it said some fundamentally different things. This is another case of the UK press looking for two sentence solutions to complex issues. But it’s also a case where the sponsor of the report, Dr Jim Watson, who didn’t actually write much, if any, of it, decided to sell the report to the media to push his own agenda, not that of the other four authors. A part of the “conventional wisdom” response of opinion of UK “think tanks” has always been to talk down shale as inconsequential on one hand and to make sure those predictions come true on another. We’ve heard this for four years or more and the press, so busy informing the public on other issues of the day, are stuck in a loop that could be described as the “Let’s call the whole thing off and move straight to renewables” school. It’s moved way past tiresome, towards simply boring. 

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