The attraction of UK onshore natural gas has always been location, location, location. If we are even allowed to explore for it, let alone possibly produce it, it is under a market that uses a lot of imports and will need a growing amount of them as we continue to install a new or upgraded heating system every 6 seconds of a 50 hour working week. All into a market steps away from a distribution system bought and paid for years ago, at a commodity price that has a basis over US Henry Hub permanently built in.
But throughout the debate we should have talked, footprint, footprint, footprint. Nothing else matters. The smallest footprint possible makes onshore gas (and oil) acceptable, achievable – and profitable. Yet the fundamental fear of journalists has been an outdated view of gas wells on every street corner. Continue reading Footprint, footprint, footprint. The mundane reality of natural gas
If natural gas can ever get to tell our part of the story in the energy and climate debate, we need to understand the three energy revolutions happening simultaneously this century. Only one is the ability of natural gas to be now so abundant that it can make a huge dent in coal, and thus carbon emissions world wide.
The second is often the only message we hear from the green claque and a media united in an eternal quest for a new and different narrative. The development surprised greens as much as gas. That’s the plunge in renewable costs, even if, as in Germany, it’s a complicated story and in some places it doesn’t stand up to close examination or more to the point, doesn’t produce a huge amount of carbon reduction. Yet.
Continue reading Three Energy Revolutions at Once: Renewables, Gas and Efficiency
The bizarre demonstrations in Lancashire, where protestors are trying to disrupt work at the Cuadrilla site on Preston New Road has bumbled along this week.
It’s absurd because the main fear of the residents is about traffic disruption impacting local residents. So the best way the allegedly local demonstrators show their displeasure is – to cause traffic disruption, What next? A free buffet to protest food waste?
Continue reading Pretzel Logic, The Lancashire Theatre of the Absurd and a falling out among fiends.
Some parts of the UK onshore industry go out of their way to assure local communities that they aren’t “fracking”. From the perspective of engineers and geologists, they’re not. Quite a few try and avoid the debate in this way such as UKOG in Southern Britain or Angus Energy’s latest project in Brockham
The Kimmeridge has the potential to really move the needle, for this was the source for all the excitement at nearby Horse Hill, which flowed at a better than expected 1,688 barrels a day.
Horse Hill and Brockham are thought to share many geological similarities.
Eagerly anticipated will be the results from three discrete layers within the Kimmeridge.
What the experts suspect is the Kimmeridge at Horse Hill is naturally fractured, allowing oil to accumulate, so that when accessed, it flows easily to surface under its own steam.
If this model holds up then there would be no need for fracking to release this hydrocarbon bounty.
Continue reading Norway and Russia: First they come for the frackers. Then they come for you.
The reverberations of the ASA ruling continue. Friends of the Earth still insist the ruling doesn’t mean anything, see this from Channel 4 News e.g or from 2:50 here on BBC Radio 4 Today .
The FoE intransigency meant a rare intervention from the ASA themselves: Continue reading Friends of the Earth: Charity or Company?
The “ticking off” of Friends of the Earth received today now means the opening, by them, of a new front on the anti fracking debate.
Donna Hume, a Friends of the Earth senior campaigner, said: “No ruling has been made against us. The ASA offered to drop the case without ruling after we confirmed that a particular leaflet was no longer being used.
“We continue to campaign against fracking because burning fossil fuels is dangerous for the climate. As well as that, the process of exploring for and extracting shale gas is inherently risky for the environment, this is why fracking is banned or put on hold in so many countries.”
Reality Check: Fracking is banned or put on hold in so many countries by using same tactics exposed today. Continue reading The Fracking Debate Gas Can Win: Climate
A new front in the war against fracking opened up this week when Guy Shrubsole of Friends of the Earth found an unlikely new ally in the right of centre UK Daily Telegraph’s Political Editor Christopher Hope with this story. I would imagine the Daily Telegraph doesn’t support Friends of the Earth in their refugee campaign or much else.FoE members are usually only slightly less rabid Remainers than I am, but the story shows how desperate FoE may become as they morph from a campaign to save the earth to simply one to save their jobs.
The back story of this sudden flourish first. This week Friends of the Earth will get told by the UK Advertising Standards Authority that their claims about fracking based on water contamination, house prices, and ashtma attacks that were used in an advertisement in the Sunday Times are inaccurate. As part of the agreement, they will agree not to repeat them anywhere
Continue reading Sherwood Forest Fracking. The back story.
UK and EU natural gas this winter is increasingly supplied not by US LNG as some had predicted, but by slight increases in North Sea production from both the UK and Norway sectors and for the first time, a sudden surge of Russian gas.
Russia has the greatest natural gas resources on earth, yet even by the standards of the world’s largest country, they are pretty much stranded assets. Exhibit one is the Yuzhno-Russkoe project on the Yamal peninsula which feeds gas into the Nord Stream pipeline from Vyborg near Saint Petersburg. Nord Stream then goes under the Baltic Sea to Germany and from there to European gas grid. This winter has seen a surge in imports through the two interconnectors to Bacton in East Anglia. One (IUK) comes from Zeebrugge in Belgium and the other from Holland.
Continue reading As Russian gas imports surge into the UK. Is there an alternative?
Friends of the Earth are one of the UK’s, and Europe’s most respected environmental advocacy groups. Few could fault either the quality of their research nor the depth of their commitment on a number of causes related to both progressive politics and the climate. Their recent campaigns on issues such as the countryside, bees and climate refugees are especially commendable.
But they have had a blind spot, one which those more cynical than I might say, is a function of their falling fundraising – their opposition to fracking.
Continue reading Friends of the Earth new choice: Stop squandering their money on fracking.
The nomination of Scott Pruitt has rightly caused much gnashing of teeth at sites like Climate Home.
Green groups reacted with bitter hostility calling Pruitt a “fossil fuel industry puppet” (350.org), “an arsonist in charge of fighting fires (Sierra Club) and “destined for the environmental hall of shame” (NRDC).
Continue reading Go fly a KIITG:Did Keep It In The Ground, false balance and fake news bury the environmental movement?