Above Ground Risk in the UK Shale Industry. Peak Protest?

A great piece directed towards the gas and industry audience this week in Upstream Online. Some highlights:

The UK government’s decision to overturn local council objections to shale gas drilling in the north of England is a significant step forward for the industry….

Although the issue was quickly investigated, the shale debate has been dominated in the intervening period, largely by critics from environmental groups and local communities.

That has made it hard for local councils to give go-aheads, even if they felt minded to on the basis of jobs and other benefits.

A new post-Brexit vote national government, however, has the headwind to make bold decisions.

It has already given the green light to a controversial new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point and has now moved to face down the anti-frackers by siding with Cuadrilla Resources in Lancashire….

The UK shale industry now has clear and unequivocal backing from the government and should be able to proceed with new wells.

But the battle to win public acceptance is far from won.

Continue reading Above Ground Risk in the UK Shale Industry. Peak Protest?

Could this be the winter UK lights flicker?

As some may know I have a background in energy markets and procurement.  I was a spectacularly unsuccessful energy consultant in the commercial sector because I honestly wanted to give the best price to the customer. The best price was to go month or day ahead gas and power prices and everything worked out  in the end.  Fretting about making the right decision for a one (or longer!) year fixed price was basically a waste of time.  So I had very happy customers, not happy bosses when the customers wised up that they could do it for themselves.

A key meme for British energy consultants was pushing  a particularly British obsession “If  the Lights go Out”.  I never bought that story, (even if I appeared in part 2 of that programme).  So I’m going to be on the record and say that this winter, yep, I’m worried.  And if I’m worried you should be worried. Continue reading Could this be the winter UK lights flicker?

India, London and natural gas. Connected more than you may think.

There’s a great natural gas story brewing in India.  Since there were 1.4 million British Indians in the 2011 census, and not many are members of the Friends of the Earth judging by this from their website..

We are keen to encourage applications from people currently under-represented in the environment movement, for example, black and minority ethnic people, and women in senior positions.

…the UK natural gas industry is missing a trick in explaining not only the advantages of shale to this important community here in the UK but to their families back home. They certainly won’t hear it from Friends of the Earth.

Continue reading India, London and natural gas. Connected more than you may think.

The Good News – and the Bad – about UK shale gas

Last week’s approval of Cuadrilla’s planning application after an arduous process will be the first step towards the next stage of UK shale gas.  It does promise to create the precedents in planning that will make far easier/quicker/cheaper for others to follow. We leave it now to history to argue the past five years.  Although Friends of the Earth are considering/threatening legal action much of the UK shale controversy is most likely all over bar the shouting.

Continue reading The Good News – and the Bad – about UK shale gas

6 Deadly Factors Impacting the Environment, and What You Can Do to Help


Reader Joe Thomas asked if I was interested in publishing this, and in the interest of debate I’m more than happy to.  I feel strongly that the gas industry needs to take on environmentalists concerns over the wider picture and build bridges, not walls between us.

I’m sure this won’t convince some readers, and it didn’t all convince me either.  But it’s a start of a debate, and one where I agree with a high percentage of it.  The entire climate debate is complicated.  It doesn’t help to shout slogans at one another.  Once the sloganeering stops, theres still a lot of work to do. We all live on this earth and whatever our impact is, or is not,  it’s good to listen to the other side. Only then may we realise how much we share in common and concentrate on that.

By Joe Thomas  www.allgreenpr

 Joe is a writer for allgreenpr, who creates articles on a range of subjects, including sustainability and environmental issues.

6 Deadly Factors Impacting the Environment, and What You Can Do to Help

In the time that it has taken you to read this sentence, you have fallen through an eternal expanse of stars at approximately 460 metres a second. Clinging to a green and blue ball of rock awash in this endless sea, one could easily be forgiven for feeling very small and insignificant next to the enormity of existence. But despite the seemingly unyielding permanence of it all, our place within the cosmic scheme has never been under greater threat.

In our ever ambitious bid to become the masters of the world around us, our dependence on plundering the riches of the planet has in fact done the opposite and made us slaves to its bounty, addicts who are incapable of sating our desire for resources that once consumed are never coming back. Whilst political bodies across the world have all too slowly come to realise this and come to various agreements to reverse the damage wreaked on the environment, the wheels of industry all too often have no such conscience.

Continue reading 6 Deadly Factors Impacting the Environment, and What You Can Do to Help

Everyone gets Food Miles. Let’s start thinking Energy Miles

I live in London, and  recently had lunch  in a restaurant in the Hoxton area. Hoxton is London’s Hipster Central, an up and coming area where media types and guilt ridden young and highly paid analysts from nearby investment banks, commingle with others in the tribes of London. It’s sometimes hard to distinguish the males. Is that a bearded hipster clad in black or is it a Hasidic rabbi or a Muslim Imam? Hipsters have their own codes, and much like the rabbi and the imam, to them diet is a key part of daily life. Hipsters love local food and this restaurant’s menu, alongside catering to every possible food allergy or dietary preference, also listed food miles. This is  a demographic who, belonging to the same urban green tribe as environmentalists and academics, would be horrified to think gas from “fracking” could touch them in any way.  It would be unclean.

Continue reading Everyone gets Food Miles. Let’s start thinking Energy Miles

Gas saves lives, empowers women. How could Food and Water Watch hate that?

US pipeline protestors like Sandra Steingraber not only pretend that slowing down LNG export infrastructure somehow saves the earth, they also pretend that it is a battle than empowers people in less developed countries in general and women in particular.  They really need to be confronted with the consequences of their actions: Banning fracking kills women.  Here’s how.  It’s complicated Sandra, but one has to go to real women with real problems, not rich American narcissists who are convinced they alone have the solutions to make women’s lives matter.

Continue reading Gas saves lives, empowers women. How could Food and Water Watch hate that?

Yorkshire natural gas and global warming

I’ve been in the natural gas business for over 25 years and follow recent events in Yorkshire with interest. Northern England may have, if we are allowed to look, a globally significant natural gas resource. Among other issues, it’s ironic how anti gas protestors insist onshore gas isn’t viable even as they fight tooth and nail against giving the industry giving them a chance to be proven right.

Even so, I am in total agreement with Friends of the Earth (FoE), Frack Free North Yorkshire and Frack Free Ryedale in viewing climate change as the greatest issue of our time – but not one that should be twisted to fight local natural gas. The evidence is clear: 97% of climate scientists agree human caused climate change is a physical fact.

The FoE often demonise the gas industry as faceless right wing cabal. I voted Remain this year and Sadiq Khan for Mayor of London. I  support the truly progressive campaigns by the Friends of the Earth for bees and welcoming refugees. But I cannot, for the life of me, understand their opposition to onshore natural gas. Continue reading Yorkshire natural gas and global warming

From Zero to Hero: UK Shale will prevail

2016 has shown that predicting anything, anywhere on politics is for the brave. I’ll be brave and assume that by next Thursday, October 6, the interminable planning permission saga in Lancashire will draw to an almost close. I say almost because Friends of the Earth in a suicidal attempt to squander members’ money better served defending the countryside, bees and the rights of refugees, will drag Cuadrilla or the council or the government into court, just as they have with Third Energy in Yorkshire. But with Third already having an accelerated hearing in late November on their application any delay promises to be minimal. Continue reading From Zero to Hero: UK Shale will prevail

UK based but with a global scope, No Hot Air provides information on various energy issues but especially in the global implications of shale gas.