Category Archives: Shale Gas

No Deathbed Conversion: My view on onshore UK gas

August is the traditional peak of the silly season when the UK media uses any number of tenuous, out dated or too often, simply bored attempts to feed the maw of the media machinery. With audience and grown ups away, the field is opened up to a new crop of writers misguided enough to still see some romance in the formerly noble métier of journalism.  Many of them are “interns”, or what anyone in most jobs recognise as “slaves”, but the alleged riches of “making a difference” drag them in every summer. Continue reading No Deathbed Conversion: My view on onshore UK gas

If not here, then where?


Deciding – or not – to explore for the UK’s onshore natural gas and oil reserves needs informed facts.

On Saturday March 4, the LNG carrier Gallina  docked at the Isle of Grain Terminal 50 miles from London.

The Gallina’s arrival is inextricably linked to the lack of UK shale gas exploration. If exploration had been allowed,  and production ensued, the Gallina would not be landing the cargo.

The Gallina’s gas is very high carbon, with a 20% to 30% higher CO2 footprint across the supply chain than locally produced UK gas.

The  Gallina cargo left Peru on February 6, with a destination market as England. You can follow the progess here.  Continue reading If not here, then where?

Shale gas goes international. Paranoia follows

The NYT final story of 2011 on shale is a bit worrying.  Shale goes international and Ian Urbina’s exaggeration and mis-information follows.

 South Africa is among the growing number of countries that want to unlock previously inaccessible natural gas reserves trapped in shale deep underground. The drilling technology — hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” for short — holds the promise of generating new revenue through taxes on the gas, creating thousands of jobs for one of the country’s poorest regions, and fueling power plants to provide electricity to roughly 10 million South Africans who live without it.

I’m not South African, but permit me to ask a question:  Where were all these (white) farmers protests during the battle against apartheid?

Continue reading Shale gas goes international. Paranoia follows

How big a number is that from the Barnett Shale

Let’s put the latest numbers of Barnett Shale Production from October 2011 in perspective:

 Tarrant County is still a runaway No. 1 in natural gas production among Texas’ 254 counties, according to the latest data released by the Texas Railroad Commssion, the chief regulator of the state’s oil and gas industry. Tarrant’s gas output was 62.2 billion cubic feet in October, the latest month for which data is available. Johnson County, Tarrant’s neighbor to the south, is No. 2, at 39.4 billion cubic feet. Denton County is No. 4, at 19.7 billion, while Wise County is No. 5, at 19.2 billion. All four counties are on the list because they are leaders in production from North Texas’ natural gas-rich Barnett Shale. Prior to the Barnett play, Tarrant County’s production historically had been nil.

Continue reading How big a number is that from the Barnett Shale

More from AJ Lucas on Cuadrilla

More interesting comment from AJ Lucas ahead of their restart of today’s trading after a seven month suspension, during which their stake in Cuadrilla is turning into a very interesting play.  On one hand, one can’t expect them to talk the story any way but up,  but their spin is interesting nevertheless:

 Lucas’s crown jewel is an effective 56 per cent interest in the Bowland prospect near Blackpool in Britain via a 25 per cent direct stake and a 42 per cent holding in Cuadrilla, which since its drilling results at the Preece Hall 1 well may hold the key to a new phase in the British gas supply industry.

Continue reading More from AJ Lucas on Cuadrilla

Coal v Gas: The 2012 battleground

A key objection of the UK’s Tyndall Centre report on shale gas depends on a key misunderstanding about the impact of gas on electricity generation. Gas is not the enemy of renewables. In fact, current renewable solar and wind tech just won’t work without gas as back up.  In that sense,  plentiful gas, which naturally becomes both physically secure and not open to price spikes, enables renewables.  But the Tyndall Centre doesn’t see it that way:

Continue reading Coal v Gas: The 2012 battleground

Thousand year plus history of methane and UK water contamination.

A guest post here from  Graham Dean of Reach Coal Seam Gas, who also chairs the UK Unconventional Gas Group, puts the old flaming faucet theory into historical perspective:

It’s not just in the US that gas comes out of water taps – it happens here in the UK too. 

I was reminded of this when I went to collect the Christmas turkey from some farming friends.  They live in Desford in Leicestershire and they told me how their water supply used to produce gas with their water.  Their water used to be supplied from an electric pump at the bottom of an old hand-dug water well.  To reduce the problem of gas in the water taps, the space above the water in the old well was used to catch the gas bubbles so that they were not pumped into the house.  The disadvantage of this system was that when the pump broke down my friends had to leave the well uncapped for a day to allow the gas to escape before it was safe to go down the well.

Continue reading Thousand year plus history of methane and UK water contamination.

What happened in US shale in 2011

I’ve been looking at shale gas in the US for over three years, long enough to have seen every enviromental objection disproved, but even more interesting is how every prediction about shale gas economics has been disproved in spectacular fashion.  For example

 Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) — Booming U.S. natural gas production from shale formations and slowing demand from households, factories and power plants are poised to send prices down for an unprecedented fifth year in 2012.

Continue reading What happened in US shale in 2011

Poll shows Americans like shale

Are markets, journalists and yes, perhaps even me, overestimating the level of popular opposition to shale gas? This poll from Deloitte shows that even accounting for margins of error, there is only word we can really use to describe US support for shale: Massive

A majority of Americans think developing natural gas by tapping shale formations offers greater rewards than it does risks, including those associated with hydraulic fracturing, according to a survey conducted by the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions. Moreover, 8 in 10 respondents link natural gas with job creation and economic revival. Continue reading Poll shows Americans like shale