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Monday, 29 October 2012

Could shale gas be England's prize?

Given the economic barriers to shale gas production - either the oil price needs to rise, or the cost of the extraction technology needs to fall to make it commercially viable in the UK - one thing is becoming clear; there's lots of it. Trillions upon trillions of cubic metres.What's not so clear is quite where it's located. This rather blurry map is the best I can find quickly:-

You'll see large deposits in the southern North Sea, with the majority inside England's 200 mile commercial limit. And I say England deliberately; there's hardly any shale gas within Scotland's 200 mile limit. Although we've also got land deposits on the South coast, mini earthquakes from Brighton to the Solent may not be too popular, let alone the vast volume of drinking water the process will take from this parched region. The North Sea is a safer bet in every way.

Italy is well provided, but with natural earthquakes causing enough devastation there as it is, I can't imagine they'd encourage much fracking in Chiantishire. Catalunya and the Basque region are also rich in deposits, unlike much of Spain, and Poland is practically sitting on one giant reserve. Scandinavians will be the biggest losers in Europe.

But as Andrew Evans-Pritchard notes today, whilst the US exploitation of shale gas is driving a resurgence of manufacturing, the EU's energy policy is destroying the Euro economy. Even more reasons for the UK to cut the Gordian knot that binds us to the EU.


Anonymous said...

"Even more reasons for the UK to cut the Gordian knot that binds us to the EU."

Yes. But to do that we need to replace about 70% of the political class, any suggestions how to go about it?

"Political class" how low we have sunk.

Agouts said...

The earthquake scare is a nonsense from start to finish. These are tremors that don't even match those produced by a HGV passing a house. They are almost unmeasurably small

Johnm said...

The problem with mini-quakes, caused by lubricating the faults, is that the same thing has been done in the 'states as a means of relieving fault stresses before they become full 'quakes. With some success as I recall.
There are thousands of small 'quakes in the UK each year, many unreported.
I think the largest known was about 5.3R, many years ago. There are few fault lines in the UK to stimulate.
The main reason nothing is being done in europe is massive interference in the process by russia, with its massive gas and oil fields, via its friends in the various non-government organisations such as friends of nobody except the earth, greenpeace and loads of other "watermelon" groups that are basically communist.

James Higham said...

They won't do it for political reasons, i.e. the EU.

Anonymous said...


I totally agree.

The earthquakes are several orders of magnitude less than those caused by conventional coal mining.

The reasons are that the slippage occurs in soft shale & at a much greater depth than coal seams were worked in the West Riding.


Anonymous said...

Energy is energy and we need to start collapsing the price of energy by stuffing the market full of it, so making it cheaper. Unless and until we start building large quantities of "nation scale" nuclear power plants, we will have to increase our depency on foreign energy; which, as we all know to our cost, is a most unwise thing to do.

Coney Island

Anonymous said...

As other have stated, the greenies aren't interested in shale gas as a solution becuase its the wrong type of solution

i.e. It's not one that allows them to smash the Capitalist west into pieces and enforce their mad Communist agenda...

But it is the political class at play. It was not more than three months ago that the government tried to kill shale gas saying it was not the solution to our challenges. Surely it's the commercial companies that should state how much is extractable at what cost and then a judgement made?

Johnm said...

The US is having problems with shale gas now: the price has fallen so low there is not enough profit to bankroll further exploration.
It is not helped by the governments deliberate policy of not allowing exploration on government-owned lands and restricting loans to "fossil-fuel" while giving money away to every green scam in existence (as long as they contribute)
Anyway, as you can fault line here:

Still, we won't let minor things like facts and truth get in the way of scary-green.

Anonymous said...

"...any suggestions how to go about it?"

The same way Badger, Mole, Rat and Toad did?

cuffleyburgers said...

@Anon - afraid I'm bit rusty on wind in the willows - how dd they go about it and did it involve machine guns?

Anonymous said...

Cony Island: "Unless and until we start building large quantities of "nation scale" nuclear power plants, "

We will have to do that anyway, the shale gas will only last, what 50 years, if our economy starts to expand, that would be the doubling time of energy consumption.

Thorium reactors, (if we aren't obsessed with Plutonium bombs) are reasonably cheap and safe.

Anonymous said...

cuffleyburger: "... did it involve machine guns?"

I thought it involved very fast cars?

Anonymous said...

The reason for the AGW scam is to raise the price of energy. Its hardly likely that the government of the UK, under the direction of the EU, is going to anything to reduce the price of energy.


G. Tingey said...

AGW is NOT a "scam".
The motions by the politicos, using AGW as a shield ARE a scam - two separate issues ....
However, I don't think we need to worry.
Nuclear + improved artificial photosynthesis ( some-time in next 20 years, easily) + "Air Fuels" will do the trick.
I suggest you Google for this lot:

Weekend Yachtsman said...

AGW is a scam.

Anonymous said...

AGW is NOT a scam, it is real. BUT the massive abuse of the extremely moderate human effects on climate ARE a scam.
It allows what used to be minor bit-part players to raise their game above all sanity, players like the WWF, Greenpeace and [not] Friends of the Earth.
All three of which are submerged communist organisations, as is the UN.
Of course, they are all insanely rich now commanding several hundred millions annually.

Anonymous said...

Budgie said...

CAGW definitely is a scam. There is no runaway global warming catastrophe happening (remember the 'snow will be a memory' trash?).

AGW probably is a scam because there is no proof - we still do not understand the actions of our climate properly, so it cannot be proved.

There has been some warming, but that is probably natural and due to the fact that we are in an interglacial and, in particular, recovering from the little ice age.

We need more CO2 (currently only 0.04% of the atmosphere) to increase crop yields.

G. Tingey said...

AGW is real
Just because you don't want to believe it, does not make it real.


The politicians are making a deliberate scam out of it, as are some organisations.
I would not call them "submerged communists", as I think they are in it for the usual reasons - money & power.

Budgie said...

Sorry G Tingey, just because you want to believe AGW is real does not make it so.

CO2, even now, totals less than 0.04% of the whole atmosphere, and there is no proof that the minute absolute increase is either man made, or contributing to warming.

Apart from anything else a "global" temperature is a completely artificial academic construct, and is therefore meaningless. The planet is too big and varied to have only one temperature.

Anonymous said...

Scientist prefer to use the term "climate change" rather than global warming.
There actually is plenty evidence that the CO2 increase is due to human activity and there is also evidence that it is affecting our climate. Do some internet research. Stay away from news articles, read scientific articles (with evidence!). See for yourself.

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