Just in case some are concerned I have been poisoned, asphyisated or swallowed up by the earth over the past week in the US, full reports later this week.
Great things fromTexas to share, but first, the most important news . I spent Friday hearing about the reality of shale from some people in the Dimock PA area.
Dimock, if you listen to Gasland narrative should be a wasteland, acres of derricks, thousands of trucks clogging up the roads and fiery water.
The reality? It simply not very exciting at all. I was shocked to see how low the landscape footprint is for example. If you were just passing through, one could almost miss it completely. Have to admit I saw four trucks in a row every ten minutes or so. Shocking. Spoke to lovely people, including some who appeared in Gasland who were shocked by the perceptions of their reality.
Sometimes you just have to see for yourself. Read more from Tuesday onwards.
A selection of historical clippings in which No Hot Air has appeared.
World gas shortage could be all hot air London Evening Standard
Why questions on energy bills are piling up London Evening Standard
Energy crisis is postponed as new gas rescues the world Daily Telegraph
The Energy Crisis is Over Break for News.com
Shale Gas Blasts Open World Energy Market London Sunday Times
David MacKay’s foot-in-mouth moment (or, why scientists and the media don’t mix) FT Energy Source
Europe awaits a shale gas revolution Petroleum Economist
Interview RMF24 FM Poland
UK natural gas storage: The politics, and the pundits Financial Times
Rapid adjustments to production drops is a success story so far Financial Times
Nick Grealy: Shale Gas Missionary Petroleum Economist
Blackpool: The New Dallas? BBC Radio 4 Costing the Earth
Channel 4 News British Gas hikes energy prices by 7 per cent
Financial Times British Gas attacked for price rise
Independent on Sunday UK Joins Gas Rush
I was going to apologise for missing this on David Cameron on shale, I’ve been in transit to Fort Worth, much more from here later this week. But what’s more notable? That he mentioned shale so approvingly or that the rest of the UK media completely ignored it? If he said this in the FT or Telegraph, it would be all over the place, but he told this to the Lancashire Evening Post:
The Prime Minister has said he believed unlocking the reserves of gas in shale rock under the county’s countryside had the potential to be a “revolution” creating thousands of extra jobs for the county.
During a visit to the Lancashire Evening Post newsroom yesterday, he said safety would be “of paramount importance” amid reports proving exploration work caused a pair of earth tremors and fears chemicals will contaminate water supplies.
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No Hot Air has been active in publicising and promoting shale for since 2008. Petroleum Economist and BBC2 TV’s primetime Newsnight program both described us as a shale gas evangelist. Like the evangelists of old, we preach a better world is coming to an audience that has been told the exact opposite. Some of that audience will never be convinced – simply because they don’t wish to be. Shale disrupts world views and businesses alike. It’s NHA’s view however that battle will be won or lost in the middle ground majority, many of whom have never heard of shale. They will be receptive to good news on both the environment and the economy. It’s our job to reinforce this positive message.
We feel the industry has spent too much time in a technical response to emotional issues. We think instead of concentrating on lowering fears, we need to raise hopes. We aim to cut through the noise of the shale debate and concentrate on the signal.
This positive message, always based on facts in context, is what we do. Public perception issues in Europe often stem from both a public unfamiliar with onshore oil and gas reality and onshore gas drillers unused to engaging with their fears. But we certainly don’t want to gloss over problems as they arise either. Just as an accident anywhere is an accident everywhere, the failure of the shale debate in one nation can affect it anywhere and everywhere.
The energy transformation of the 21st century has been the de-risking of the sub-surface geology of shale gas. But above ground risk has developed into the key issue which can delay or even derail shale gas projects worldwide.
Everyone agrees that Public Acceptance is the greatest obstacle to Shale development Worldwide.But what can we do about it?
“Public education, community engagement, even media engagement are themes that seem to be growing around this to make sure that we’re not maybe repeating the same thing we saw in the oilsands, where everybody seemed to have their own sets of facts … causing confusion ultimately to the general public,” said Andy Ridge, the water policy director for Alberta Environment and Water. “So how do we get ahead of that on hydraulic fracturing?” Edmonton Journal
A groundswell of public opposition to shale gas drilling in Europe, driven by legitimate environmental concerns, is a major problem for what could prove to be a very important industry, said the Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol.
“Let’s be honest, as an industry, we have not always done our best to engage in the public debates about these issues,” Peter Voser, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, said on Wednesday at a speech during a major energy conference here. “This has resulted in some misconceptions taking root, especially about the impact of hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking.’”
No Hot Air engages the public in the virtual world delivering a consistent, clear and hopeful view of shale issues. We try to cut through the information chaos which often overwhelms people. We provide not only facts, news and context but also opinion:
- Our opinions differ from opponents in two key ways
- Our opinions are based on facts
- Our opinions leads us to hope instead of fear.
- We always use facts, but also use context.This provides a clear way to engage in public debate.
The Track Record & Players
No Hot Air has been active in publicising and promoting shale for over 4 years. Both Petroleum Economist and BBC TV’s primetime Newsnight program have described us as a shale gas evangelist. Like the evangelists of old, we preach a better world is coming to an audience that has been told the exact opposite. Some of that audience will never be convinced – simply because they don’t wish to be. Shale disrupts world views and businesses alike. But NHA feels the majority, most of whom have never heard of shale, will be receptive to good news on both the environment and the economy. It’s our job to reinforce this positive message.
We feel the industry has spent too much time in a technical response to emotional issues. We think instead of concentrating on lowering fears, we need to raise hopes.
This positive message, always based on facts in context, is what we do. Public perception issues in Europe stem from both a public unfamiliar with onshore oil and gas realityand onshore gas drillers unused to engaging with those fears.
The public has been told for the past thirty years to trust their own feelings – not government, not scientists (Genetically Modified Food, MMR being two examples) experts, bankers,priests not anyone! The inevitable contradictions of the data in science mean a barrage of opposing arguments in both climate change and shale gas that can easily leave people more confused than informed.
We are not helped by a press relentless in looking for a story that is simple while not being shy in creating controversy by exaggerating the spectacular (flames, chemicals, earthquakes etc) over the boring, but necessary facts of production. The shale story is a complex web of geology, chemistry, economics, seismology, politics and energy. I think it is the most exciting story of the era and we are lucky to be present at the creation. But science is complex, and fears can sometimes only be addressed via complex and often long winded explanations. Much news today is entertainment, so the reality of shale science has trouble piercing this bubble. We need to build a new narrative. Our narrative.
The rapid emergence of shale gas has contributed to confusion. Only a few years ago people were asked to believe energy was running out and the future would be one of how to keep the lights on. Today it is the complete opposite, but people have been told bad news for so long they mistrust good news. Certainly on both the economy and the environment, news has been relentlessly depressing and people are understandably cautious the narrative won’t switch around again.
NHA says that a few localised incidents have not only been too highly publicised, but at the same time, the overall benefits of shale aren’t being presented. Shale gas is not perfect, but it is not perfectly evil. It can’t solve 2050 carbon targets, but it can help us reach the near term 2020 and 2030 ones far quicker and far cheaper compared to alternate generation technology. It can do this by having safe, secure and proven technology, with little investment needed in infrastructure.
One of our core arguments in a Europe facing decades of austerity is that importing energy is exporting money. Using our common natural gas and oil resources is the smart, sane and easy alternative. Pretending that renewables are just around the corner is simply not correct, no matter how much we would like it to be so. That leaves spending money we don’t have on the alternatives to carbon generation.
No Hot Air needs support to continue their work. It’s good for the industry and that’s good for you. No Hot Air also has a wide international audience of shale gas professionals, government regulators and financial specialists. Our audience is small, but influential and consistently growing. Supporting No Hot Air also has tangible benefits for your business in building brand awareness and revealing new products in a rapidly evolving industry.
If you would like to help No Hot Air continue to highlight the shale message, please use the Contact form.
One of the key foundations of the Peak Oil theory popular amongst European greens is that the Chinese hunger for fossil fuels including gas, will drive up prices here in Europe. I’ve been knocking that one on the head for years based on the reality of China’s gas demand, not the self-serving fear narrative pushed by the European energy group think. They were wrong on shale running out in the US, they were wrong on it running out in Europe and they are wrong again on their narrative of China sucking up everyone’s energy and pushing up everyone’s prices, thus making their own more palatable. But don’t believe me. Listen to China:
Fracking Hell – the environmental costs of the new US gas drilling boom
Fracking Hell – Fracking is a nightmare! Toxic and radioactive water pollution. Tap water you can set on fire. Earthquakes. Runaway climate change. To produce expensive gas that will soon run out
Fracking hell: UK government set to green light risky gas drilling?
More from the Willis Energy Market Review April 12: All Fracked Up revealed by the Guardian on Wednesday. The sub title is “Just How Concerned Should Energy Insurers Be about Hydraulic Fracturing?”. Having looked further at this one, I think this is the anti-smoking gun of shale: A main broker of Lloyds, the place where the buck/pound/euro really stops, says fracking is just fine by them.
The answer is as quick as go compare your insurance quote.
However, regardless of the number of websites now devoted to opposing those who “frack”, one thing is crystal clear – this is an industry that is here to stay, with risks that will need to be managed and/or insured in the usual manner.
Some people, intrinsically, and arithmetically, unable to do a risk analysis, are sure to pitch into the DECC consultation on fracking by saying any earthquake risk at all is a risk too far.
Other people, in New Zealand for example, have a deeper sense of perpsective:
A UK study into hydraulic fracturing offers New Zealand “some reassurance” the process causes only very small, normal-range earthquakes, a GNS scientist says.
“We get about 150,000 earthquakes in New Zealand every year that are magnitude 2.3 and above, so that’s about 50 a day and most people just don’t feel them. That level of seismicity in New Zealand is normal.”
Anything being induced by fracking, which is being reported in the literature, is causing no different activity than what happens naturally in New Zealand, Quinn said.