France’s paradox: Government bans, imports and makes money on LNG shale all at once

At the end of January during a demonstration in France against shale gas, one of the key slogans was  

Ni ici, ni ailleurs. Ni aujourd’hui, ni demain.

Like most things, it sounds better in French, but the translation is simple enough that the message reverberates not only around Europe but to Algeria, Quebec and even among shale opponents in the US:  Not here, not anywhere. Not today, not tomorrow. 

Continue reading France’s paradox: Government bans, imports and makes money on LNG shale all at once

Time for anti gas activists to chill out: Shale LNG is coming. Will they switch off at last?

LNG is natural gas transported to an LNG terminal, frozen to −162 °C (−260 °F), then transported by ship and then reheated at the receiving terminal and injected into the gas grid.  The imminent arrival of LNG into Europe that is derived from US shale gas presents an opportunity for anti fracking opponents in Europe to chill out and start to ask themselves some honest questions. 

We are going to be burning shale natural gas in Europe and the UK within weeks. The question is do we want to use our shale gas or pay for someone else’s? 

Continue reading Time for anti gas activists to chill out: Shale LNG is coming. Will they switch off at last?

What DIDN’T happen at Horse Hill. The really big story about the Gatwick gusher.

What is – and is not – happening at the Horse Hill farm site only 20 miles from the southern outskirts of London is remarkable. On one hand, we have what genuinely can be described as significant – and even game changing – amount of oil. So congratulations are in order for the UKOG team for quietly, literally under Gatwick Airport’s radar, producing some actual hydrocarbons.

The Horse Hill success is even more material for the rest of the UK onshore oil and gas industry, a sector starved of good news – or indeed any news at all – from what DIDN’T happen.

Continue reading What DIDN’T happen at Horse Hill. The really big story about the Gatwick gusher.

The least stranded energy asset on earth: UK natural gas

Laszlo Varro, recently appointed Chief Economist of the IEA is the smartest and funniest guy in the energy room in my opinion, a rare combination in a field known for portentous and pretentious expertise. Over the past few years Laszlo has predicted the oil and gas resource is much larger than any one would dare admit and has also accurately predicted that environmental opposition in the US, not Europe, presents the greater danger. He also predicted that gas would start to replace coal on price even in Asia a couple of years before anyone else dared think it.  

He also noted a few years back that the days are gone when the mere presence of gas meant it would be produced. He uses the example of Titan, a moon of Saturn which has lakes of methane, to say that there are places on earth that will be equally stranded. This is Titan

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Selfish or Democratic? The empathically challenged of Lancashire.

What is democracy? Democracy is often cited by local opponents in the UK as a reason for the UK government, who actually own the gas in trust for all 65 million of us here in the UK, to stop local shale gas development for their local reasons. The rest of the world can just go hang. They’re trying to get some sleep.

Democracy according to the Oxford English Dictionary is”

a system of government in which all the people of a state or polity are involved in making decisions about its affairs, typically by voting to elect representatives to a parliament or similar assembly 

The fundamental issue over UK oil and gas resources is who do they belong to?  Do they belong to the people who live over them? Or as in the UK, and almost every country outside of the US, do they belong to the nation, Crown or state?

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Shale: Untried, Untested, Overwhelmingly Successful, Ignored.

6338054 thumb 200x200Nothing shows the breakdown of the conversation between energy consumers and energy producers than the recent Democratic debate in the US and the results of an opinion survey here in the UK.

As some readers know, I lived in the US for many years, about an equal time of my adult life as in the UK. I lived in New York, which in the pre 9/11 era was not psychologically part of the United States much as London and England grudgingly share the same country today. If I was there today, I’d probably would be inclined towards Bernie Sanders, agreeing with him on most else, although Hillary would be a more than acceptable substitute.

Continue reading Shale: Untried, Untested, Overwhelmingly Successful, Ignored.