FRACKING

(135 Posts)

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bonnyclark Fri 06-Sep-13 19:57:56

My husband and I are very much against fracking, we have been down to Balcombe a few times to support the protest. My husband is a published songwriter and has donated a power protest song, called 'We Will Never Surrender', (Published by World Domination Music Ltd), all profits going towards the fight against fracking. You can download this song at www.nelsonking.bandcamp.com/track/we-will-nver-surrender
If you go into 'Fracking at Balcomber', you will see just how serious the situation is, and how much damage is being done to the planet. If we dont stop this 'assault', our children will never forgive us.
Thankyou.

claig Fri 06-Sep-13 20:26:18

Link not working due to spelling mistake. Should be

nelsonking.bandcamp.com/track/we-will-never-surrender

dreamingofsun Sun 08-Sep-13 18:09:58

i'm not totally convinced by the facts yet so haven't made my mind up either way. On TV it looks a bit as if people have jumped on the protesting bandwagon without thinking things rationally through.

I'm interested in your arguments against, if you can present them in a logical way?

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 10-Sep-13 14:20:45

Be honest. It's not the planet in danger, it's leafy Sussex... There are great swathes of the North East/North West that would be quite happy to see the reintroduction of grand-scale coal mining and, by inference, fracking wouldn't be a problem for them either.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 10-Sep-13 14:20:45

Be honest. It's not the planet in danger, it's leafy Sussex... There are great swathes of the North East/North West that would be quite happy to see the reintroduction of grand-scale coal mining and, by inference, fracking wouldn't be a problem for them either.

frazzled1772 Tue 10-Sep-13 21:01:52

Leafy sussex is in danger but so are many places. In the next round of licensing for oil exploration the potential areas covered will mean that it will be happening in many areas around the country. If you look at fracking oil/gas fields in the USA you can see how large an area they cover. They will need to frack 1000s of wells in the UK to make it viable.

insancerre Tue 10-Sep-13 21:10:30

cog
I live in the northwest and we have fracking here too and guess what- we don't want it either
stopfyldefracking.org.uk/latest-news/
we have already had earthquakes
we had two only last week- wasn't publicised very much though

frazzled1772 Tue 10-Sep-13 22:27:56

insancerre - it's cuadrilla isn't it near you? Their track record is appalling.

insancerre Wed 11-Sep-13 17:35:09

yes, cuadrilla
if you read the website I linked to, some of the resident's experiences are awful
What really scares me is the fact that most of the area is already subsiding as it is all built on sand. I am fearful that the fracking will have catastrophic consequences. We literally could all just disappear down a big hole.
The nearest fracking site to me is only a mile or so away. The nearest houses to that site are already sinking- they have a big green and a duck pond but it is really a pumping station to pump the excess water away. Lots of houses have had to have their back door steps highered and the electricity company are in the process of raising all the electricity meters too.

frazzled1772 Wed 11-Sep-13 22:43:51

What bugs me the most is the fact that the government is making all these claims about the how wonderful fracking will be for our economy and dismisses anyone opposed to it as being a nimby, ignorant or some kind of eco-nutter. Cuadrilla seem to have a license to do what they want regardless.

Havea0 Wed 11-Sep-13 22:54:41

how much damage is being done to the planet hmm
it is statements like that that make me doubt protestors.

The areas involved with fracking are never very large, are they.

timidviper Wed 11-Sep-13 22:56:10

I am up near insancerre and can confirm the earthquakes. We were away and missed the last two but felt the first couple.

I object very strongly to the attitude of some that fracking is ok as long as it isn't in the south-east. The environmental risks are the same everywhere.

I can guarantee you that any profits will be siphoned off into the pockets of the rich and powerful, ordinary citizens will not benefit, we will just pay the price.

frazzled1772 Wed 11-Sep-13 23:06:41

Havea0 the areas involved with fracking are never very large???That is not true. An individual well pad is about the size of a football pitch. From there you have about 10 wells drilled 1000s of metres in opposing directions. That is one well pad. To get the gas/oil out of a layer of shale they gave to put 100s of these pads across the area. So for example at the moment there is one well in Balcombe, the whole of The Weald (which I believe is most of Sussex, parts of Surrey and Hampshire Hampshire) will have these well pads positioned every two miles or so apart. The whole area becomes covered in football pitched sized drill pads.

Havea0 Wed 11-Sep-13 23:17:41

And then what happens. They find the best ones, or start drilling at all of them?

frazzled1772 Wed 11-Sep-13 23:33:33

What I mean is this is a drilling pad:
i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/08/05/article-2385107-1B280FE9000005DC-675_964x554.jpg

And this is what an fracking area would look like:
i0.wp.com/www.uswateralliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Hydro-Fracking-Field.jpg?fit=1000%2C1000

you need a network of drill pads to extract the gas/oil from the shale. The photo is from the USA on an open plain - yet in the UK it's happening within metres of villages and homes.

frazzled1772 Wed 11-Sep-13 23:38:14

Each drill pad is fracked for a number of years - they then cap the well and move on. They drill all of them. When they have finished they cap the wells - leaving pipes, flow back fluid etc under the ground.

Havea0 Thu 12-Sep-13 21:55:52

The first one looks tiny.
The second picture looks bizarre.

Though I would have thought, perhaps naively, that the network of drill pads, if they happen, will have to be on at least brown sites?

[sorry didnt get back sooner, missed this from last night]

Havea0 Thu 12-Sep-13 21:59:07

Is it really as bad as all that though?
I may be a bit biased as our area could do with the money, and areas that size dotted about, wouldnt necessarily be a bad thing?

frazzled1772 Thu 12-Sep-13 22:28:23

No they are not on brown sites. Balcombe and the next one up for exploratory drilling in West Sussex are both in areas of outstanding natural beauty and within 500m of homes. They look bizarre - but when active the pads have flares burning 24 hours a day, drilling 24 hours a day, 120 HGV truck movements a day. In the USA the network of drillpads are on vast open landscapes. We don't have the equivalent here. Compare the size of Texas or with the UK and you see the difference in how it works over in the states and here.

Havea0 Thu 12-Sep-13 22:35:49

Cant see there being many pads over here. But I could be wrong.

frazzled1772 Thu 12-Sep-13 22:48:47

To make fracking viable over here they need to drill the high number of wells. For exploratory purposes they are looking at 50 or 60 sites over the next 3 years. But this is just he exploratory phase. In the production phase there would have to be many more. I've read that there could be 3000 wells drilled in in Lancs - even if you have which would be at least 300 drill pads across the Bowland Shale.

frazzled1772 Thu 12-Sep-13 22:53:44

Sorry that should read - even if you have 10 wells per pad there will be at least 300 drill pads..

Havea0 Thu 12-Sep-13 22:56:40

There would be some uproar at each and every pad I would have thought.
So much hassle that the drilling people would get bogged down in paperwork for ever more.

frazzled1772 Thu 12-Sep-13 23:06:17

Well that's what's happened in Balcombe... the protests have put the village on the map. This link explains the number of well pads better than I can. https://www.facebook.com/EastKentAgainstFracking/posts/604960489526041

insancerre Fri 13-Sep-13 07:31:36

havea0
It's not about what it looks like, it is about the environmental impact, not just on the local residents, but on the planet as a whole. Making large cracks underground just can't be a good idea.

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 08:44:41

See, I am not so bothered by the environmental side of things. I live in an old mining area. I have grown up and am used to holes in the ground, and other paraphinalia that goes with that and another industry that somewhat blots the landscape.

I think I am a realist. I realise that for us to have energy, or transport, or whatever, some parts of Britain are going to be have to be dug up.
And windfarms are hardly lovely to look at are they. They are visible for many miles around, whereas a pad may not be?

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 08:46:19

I am not sure about the cracks underground.

It doesnt seem that MN posters seem very bothered about fracking.

IsabellaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 13-Sep-13 10:43:12

If you want Local-specific Talk on issues such as Fracking, try using the Talk boards on Local Sites such as West Sussex: local.mumsnet.com/west-sussex

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 13:56:03

The site looks as dead as my local one. I couldnt find any talk about it on there - perhaps I didnt spot it?
I am not local to that area.

frazzled1772 Fri 13-Sep-13 18:02:30

True Insacerre - so much evidence about drinking water being contaminated making people ill, frack fluid spillages causing fish kills harming cattle, well blowouts, earthquakes (that damage the wells which then can cause seepage into the ground and ground water), and the enormous volumes of water which will be used and then lost out the water cycle.......and as for the lack of regulation.....

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 18:50:20

lack of regulation?

frazzled1772 Fri 13-Sep-13 19:52:02

Well more precisely lack of enforcement of regulation. For example if a drilling company damages a well they have to tell HSE ( Health and Safety Executive) and DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change). However Cuadrilla continued to frack a damaged well for six months and no one knew about it and received nothing more than a slapped wrist. www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/mar/13/fracking-cuadrilla-halts-operations-lancashire

There is a fracking report by the Royal Society which outlines 10 recommendations for good practice - these are recommendations not regulations. Many of these have not been adhered to.

Planning applications have been at best ambiguous and at worst inaccurate.

DECC appeared to have no knowledge of the horizontal arm they were drilling in Balcombe...

How is it that it is possible for flaring is being allowed to take place so close to people's homes? Because the regulations are those that are used for offshore drilling - so no regulation exists to monitor that...

frazzled1772 Fri 13-Sep-13 19:59:41

Oh -and no Environment Impact Assessment is required despite it being a hazardous activity taking place in environmentally sensitive areas.

And they are streamlining the whole process to make permit applications, planning applications quicker and easier and have removed the rights of county councils to comment on flaring, venting and seismic activity.

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:03:49

Yes, I couldnt see how it would be lack of regulation. This country is not known for its lack of regulation about anything these days.

Cuadrilla do appear to be getting away with things. Difficult to tell whether the DECC are being light handed, or whether Cuadrilla is keeping things quiet. My guess would be a combination of the two.

Recommendations though. Not much use for anything in life.
Until there is a disaster or 5.

Sounds like the DECC are working after the event so to speak.

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:06:38

Wow at your last post. Who are they? The DECC?

Like I have said elsewhere on MN from time to time. The Government, that is any Government of any political persuasion anywhere, can actually do what the heck it likes.

frazzled1772 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:20:23

Department of Energy and Climate Change. Three bodies monitor onshore oil and gas exploration DECC, the HSE and the Environmental Agency.

It is shocking - they are just doing what they like. Our local MP recruited Lord Browne as an advisor to the cabinet - he's the Director of Cuadrilla. That's just one of the connections of the government to the oil industry.

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:44:06

frazzled, you live at Balcombe?

And it was your MP that recruited Lord Browns? What exactly does recruited mean? Please excuse my ignorance.

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:45:02

I thought that they were trying to extract gas, which would be in competition with oil?

frazzled1772 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:47:29

Yes re Balcombe.
Francis Maude gave him a job in the cabinet.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/lord-browne-appointed-to-key-whitehall-role
" one of his first tasks will be to work with Secretaries of State to appoint Non-Executive Directors to the board of each government department."

frazzled1772 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:57:42

Cuadrilla were looking for oil at Balcombe - but oil trapped in the rock. The fracking process is for oil and gas. There's money in oil - so not competition - Cuadrilla would make money out of either. I am not sure if they were hoping to find gas at a deeper level, their stated intent was oil exploration.

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 21:16:52

This is a role within Government but also independent of it"
Ha ha ha ha
That sort of statement always makes me laugh.
By definition, there can literally be no such thing.

Actually that whole Lord Browne thing is shocking. Soooo shouldnt be allowed. Downright disgraceful.

frazzled1772 Fri 13-Sep-13 21:33:15

It is totally shocking. Having seen the huge police presence at the protest site, protecting Cuadrilla's interests, having experienced how the EA have had to ignore local consultations, how planning permission was able to "slip through the net" - democracy is being quashed at so many levels.

Isitmebut Thu 16-Jan-14 15:34:29

In my opinion the different regions should have their own say whether to frack, or not to frack, especially as the reserves are so huge, if we can recover around 10% of the shale gas etc, we could be self sufficient for 30-50-years.

The Uk’s energy policy, by both design and neglect, leaves us relying on Russia and Iran for Europe’s gas supply, an ever politically volatile Arab Gulf for our light crude oil, France for our nuclear electricity and the rest of the world for wind turbines – our supply crisis aside, the Uk has a crisis in energy SECURITY – neither of which more ideological regulation and taxes on ever dwindling supplies and suppliers, will solve.

In the U.S. fracking has been going on for nearly a decade, they will be energy sufficient and EXPORTING the stuff within a few years, the tax receipts have helped the government and the CHEAPER PRICES have made businesses more competitive/ more jobs AND the people’s bills cheaper.

In the UK, fracking has been going on for 50-years near a nature reserve in Beckingham Marshes, Nottinghamshire, apparently with no side affects and everyone around the site is ‘happy’ – so to my mind the benefits are huge IF, and I repeat IF, the process is safe.

The fact is, until we let companies try to lift the stuff, we don’t know if we have an option/problem of being energy self sufficient, or not.

flipflop21 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:52:15

Fracking for shale is very different to fracking that has gone on previously. Only ONE shale well has been fracked using high volume technology in the UK and that was at Preese Hall in Lancashire in 2011. Fracking for shale gas has absolutely not been going on for 50 years.

Isitmebut Fri 24-Jan-14 13:46:03

Hi flipflop21….I apologise for not answering sooner, but it is hard getting links nowadays as so many sources are subscription only, but have a look at the following article and tell us what you think.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2396378/50-year-old-fracking-site-makes-mockery-Balcombe-zealots-Its-nature-reserve--fracked-gas-oil-power-21-000-homes-day--complaints-locals.html

“Thanks in part to this original fracking process, allowing more oil and gas to be extracted, the oilfield is still yielding about 300 barrels of crude oil and one million cubic feet of natural gas daily.

The gas, piped under the reserve to a local power station, is now used to generate enough electricity to power 21,000 homes every day.”

flipflop21 Fri 24-Jan-14 19:04:49

Hi itsmebut.
That article is actually very misleading and was published at the height of the protests at Balcombe I believe. There has been such a lot of misinformation and inaccurate journalism about fracking. The industry and the government is keen to persuade people to accept their word about the safety of the process.

This link here will take you to a copy of a letter from DECC, the Department of Energy and Climate Change -the body that permits fracking in the UK and it confirms that only one well has been high volume fracked. www.frackfreebalcombe.co.uk/page61.php

The difference is "high volume" fracking. At Nottinghamshire it is a conventional oil reservoir - ie like an enomous pool of oil underground that needed some stimulation to make it flow. Shale is oil or gas trapped in the rock. It requires much more "stimulation" and uses massive volumes of water,sand and hydrcholoric acid and other chemicals. It also results in a massive amount of waste. In addition the horizontal "arms" from the well head can extend 1000s of metres... I could go on.

If you are interested here's another link which explains it better than I can
www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSWmXpEkEPg

Isitmebut Fri 31-Jan-14 13:21:38

Flipflop2…the UK government(s) and therefore ‘we the people’, in terms of energy affecting our daily lives, have run out of time. We can sit here worrying about “acid washing”, or drilling so deep we increase immigration, as thousands of slim Chinese people crawl up through the holes – we have a national energy emergency, government FINALLY has to make decisions TO DO SOMETHING about it.

The government believed a few years ago “"The UK regulatory system is up to the job for the present very small scale exploration activities, but there would need to be strengthening of the regulators if the government decides to proceed with more shale gas extraction, particularly at the production stage,"
www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18611647

The UK government has only just ensured that ‘the mother’ of useless regulation, the EU, doesn’t cause more delays and puts off the private investment VITAL to answering the basic questions on the viability of shale gas etc in the UK – we need to answer those questions with existing regulations.
networks.euskills.co.uk/news/uk-defeats-european-bid-fracking-regulations

The UK will have third-world type (aptly named) ‘Brownouts’ at the first severe winter from now onwards, as predicted by Ofgem back in 2012.

As explained in the link below, Labour ministers dithered for 10-years authorising a new generation of nuclear power plants, when half of our ageing reactors were due to be decommissioned within several years - partly because they felt that the resistance to the 11 new reactors(that he realised may not have been enough) would be intense, both from environmental groups and local communities – and partly because they were incompetent in getting the private sector to contractually pay for a new type of reactor that have yet to be completed here, or anywhere else.
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/politics/1983467-UK-Energy-Policy-Price-scandal-outages-due

In conclusion, unlike the likes of HS2 where we can debate ourselves silly IF the new money being spent on existing lines t’north will be sufficient to help rebalance the North-South economic divide – the UK has already left it too late to decide what energy will be ‘nice’, clean, or without minor risks, whether the country could afford it on not.

Governments inaction due to incompetence and/or electoral reasons has to end, and like everything else from 2010, tough decisions have to be made for ALL of the people, rather than just the environmentalists and local communities affected – as they will moan just as loud as the rest of the country, when their power goes out.

Fracking will not keep our lights on over the next few years, but all energy pipelines need to be open now to give the UK options in energy availability, security and price, for the decades to come. IMO.

flipflop21 Sat 01-Feb-14 09:16:29

Isitmebut -I suppose my question to you then Isitmebut is if you are happy to have fracking in then energy mix, what is your understanding of the risks of fracking?

Spinflight Tue 04-Feb-14 12:22:37

"I can guarantee you that any profits will be siphoned off into the pockets of the rich and powerful, ordinary citizens will not benefit, we will just pay the price."

Shame there isn't someone willing to share the proceeds... Through the sort of Sovereign Wealth fund first promoted by Tony Benn maybe...

Isitmebut Wed 05-Feb-14 15:43:45

Sinflight….Unfortunately since North Sea oil started coming ashore around 1976, the UK has never been in a position to start a Sovereign Wealth Fund like Norway and the governments in the Middle East – as they didn’t have our economic and social problems.

Don’t forget the 1970’s was probably our worst economic decade after the war, especially as around the time oil was piped, Labour had to call in the International Monetary Fund as we could not cover our outgoings and needed to borrow like some third world type nation.

Now I have no idea when Tony Benn suggested a SWF, but I do know he was around under the Labour government of 1978/9, when a decade of declining industrial output/problems culminated in the now famous UK “Winter of Discontent” – so quite when we had money to put by, rather than reduce debt, beats me.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_Discontent

Unfortunately we currently have a Sovereign Wealth Hole, that until our annual Deficit is balanced, it will reach around £1,500,000,000,000 in 2015, so any Fracking help to reduce that, SHOULD mean from a responsible government LESS taxes to the masses to pay that bill for financial incompetence, down.

Until then, incentives for local communities to drill and 1% of the gas lifted proceeds, is currently about it.

Isitmebut Wed 05-Feb-14 15:44:38

Flipflop21…regarding your question “what do I know of the risks”, I’d answer from newspaper and magazine articles, I have never professed to being an expert – but I’m sure that if holes underground were successfully fought off by pressure groups, there would have not been a coal mine, or any oil exploration and we’d have had Fred Flinstone type powered cars – with few environmentally unfriendly motorways to drive on. lol

Seriously, my concern is the state of the State re energy, and although I should have figured that a Labour Party that used to march on every ‘Ban the (nuclear) Bomb’ would have been incompetent in building just one nuclear reactor in 13-years, never mind the double figures we need, we are where we are, under generating electricity, with over generated debts – that Fracking would help solve over time.

So as lame as this sounds, we NEED to trust parliament to make the right decisions on our behalf, which includes the safety issues in general, and put aside the fear that one day something MIGHT happen environmentally – stuff happened in coal mines, on oil rigs and oil tankers sunk – so if anything did happen, the government would have to be held to account.

Frankly I don’t know how many MP’s in parliament are up to it, most of them only seem to be able to shout ideological insults at PMQT, as speaking eloquently on anything is totally beyond them, BUT governments have to ‘know a man’ that has looked at the risks as far as they can do and get on with it – as they have in the U.S. for the past decade or so, where we can get additional information on longer term risks NOW.

Spinflight Thu 06-Feb-14 00:41:02

Long term risks?

It's been going on since the 1950's. Oddly fracking only became an issue in this country a few years ago when Cuadrilla announced they had hit shale gas.

Over a million fracks since the 50's, it is afterall just a way of stimulating and otherwise tight well. The action takes place thousands of feet underground, so if you think of it as someone drilling through Mt Snowden horizontally and then blasting high pressure water out of the other end how much do you think you'd notice from your side?

There are far more invasive ways of stimulating a well, using steam, chemicals and even explosives. Again all with a long history behind them.

Nothing is completely safe though with fracking the risks are no different to operating heavy machinery at ground level.

flipflop21 Thu 06-Feb-14 20:22:42

Isitmebut

"We NEED to trust parliament.."

Really?

This government is made up of a number of people who have vested interests in the oil industry so will gain personally from the development of the fracking. How can they protect the public interest objectively?

Other reasons why I don't trust the goverment with regard to this issue:

- It is is ignoring scientific research which highlight the risks of fracking
- It is stating it has a strict regulatory system in place yet is streamlining the processes involved in the development of onshore oil development and making funding cutbacks in the monitoring agencies
- It argues that people who oppose fracking are irrational luddites (who are afraid of digging holes for example - that message has made an impact on you isitmebut) - instead of addressing their concerns and responding
- It is bribing communities to accept fracking in their local area
- It is over stating the benefits - misleading people into thinking that it will reduce the price of gas and bring loads of jobs with it. This has been widely disputed.
- It has successfully managed to convince people that fracking has been going on for decades in the UK which is a blatant lie...
- It is not thinking ahead - how many wells there will need to be? How much waste will need to be disposed of? How we transport the gas to the refineries from these new sites often in rural settings - pipes? Massive tanks?

So no - I don't trust the government.

Spinflight:

Only one well has been fracked using high volume slick water fracking in the UK - see www.frackfreebalcombe.co.uk/page61.php - That was in 2011 at Preese Hall in Lancashire, It caused an earthquake which resulted in minor damage to property.

It has not been going on for years.

They use chemicals and pressure a peforation process similar to an explosion in high volume slickwater fracking.

I think you are misunderstanding the both the process and the risks.

Spinflight Thu 06-Feb-14 22:47:16

Flipflop,

It has been going on since the 50's worldwide, as I say on over 1 million occasions.

Generally at a depth of thousands of feet ( the source rock is likely to be immature otherwise ) though I'm sure there are examples of shallow fracks too. Some of the Bowland shale is shallow though I'm not sure what the target depth is in Cuadrilla's case as I have never been invested.

As for earthquakes, by the anti-fracking definition used of an earthquake I am assured that my snoring would be considered an extremely serious earthquake! At least 100 times more serious the missus tells me....

Oddly enough I knew a fair bit about fracking etc long before a chap in work, who is member of the Green party, turned up to work telling us all about the horrors. He had been to a meeting where someone gave a talk about this 'brand new evil'. Couldn't understand why I was laughing so much.

The only accidents that I'm aware of regarding fracking are when they deliberately use di-hydrogen oxide, which has been linked to hundreds of deaths every year in other uses. It is also used to cool nuclear power plants and the Fukashima nuclear disaster was a direct result of ingress of di-hydrogen oxide.

So whatever floats your boat, if you don't like it then I respect that. I wouldn't drown my sorrows if fracking were stopped, nor would I cry tears of joy if it proceeded.

It's all water under the bridge as far as I'm concerned...

flipflop21 Fri 07-Feb-14 17:38:40

Spinflight: this article here confirms that fracking has been going on since the 1940s. It also describes the difference between fracking porous rock and fracking shale.
www.nytimes.com/2013/03/14/opinion/global/the-facts-on-fracking.html?_r=0

It states that :
" Approximately one million American wells have been fracked since the 1940s. Most of these are vertical wells that tap into porous sandstone or limestone. Since the 1990s, however, gas companies have been able to harvest the gas still stuck in the original shale source. Fracking shale is accomplished by drilling horizontal wells that extend from their vertical well shafts along thin, horizontal shale layers.

This horizontal drilling has enabled engineers to inject millions of gallons of high-pressure water directly into layers of shale to create the fractures that release the gas. Chemicals added to the water dissolve minerals, kill bacteria that might plug up the well, and insert sand to prop open the fractures."

They are now fracking the source rock not the reservoir. It's very different. The horizontal drilling and the associated technology presents new risks which weren't there before.

With regards to your point about earthquakes so far have been minor but the signigicance is that they can, as at Preese hall where Cuadrilla fracked an existing geological fault, be strong enough to damage the well. This means that potentially the chemicals within the well (flowback fluid) can leach into the ground rather than stay in the well as intended. The problem with earthquakes is not so much the damage on the surface thats the problem, but the potential to damage the integrity of the well.

The risk of dismissing rational arguments as solely "green" scaremongering is that people stop looking at the actual details of what is actually being proposed. The devil is in the detail.

Spinflight Tue 11-Feb-14 23:59:25

Damage to the well integrity is ( usually ) several thousand feet beneath the surface and may lead to the well being plugged and abandoned, which is a realistic worst case scenario. Costly to drill another well but not that unusual and has also happened countless times. This is nothing new or exciting. With even the best prospects realising success rates of 20% there are millions of plugged and abandoned wells throughout the world.

As for horizontal drilling I believe you are taking the name somewhat too literally. As your article mentioned this is drilling vertically in a conventional manner and then horizontally, not as you appear to infer, drilling horizontally from ground level. (?!)

Again nothing terribly exciting, or for that matter uniquely different, from the way drilling has gone for well over 100 years.

flipflop21 Wed 12-Feb-14 10:30:42

Spinflight - I do realise they drill down before they drill horizontally thank you very much. At the Balcombe site Cuadrilla drilled to a depth of approximately 800m and then drilled horizontally. At Preese hall, Lancashire it was approximately 3000m.

Well failures happen throughout the length of the well - so yes some of it is thousands of feet below the ground - but it also follows that it's joined to the bit at the top. Wells are drilled through sensitive formations such as aquifers and the fluid passes through the whole length of the well. If the well is damaged the seriousness of that depends upon whereabouts the damage is - near the top is a higher risk than at the deeper levels.

Shale fracking well production levels deplete at a faster rate than conventional wells. A shale well is not the same as a nodding donkey quietly pumping out oil for 20 years - as at Wytch Farm, Dorset for example.

Shale fracking requires lots of drilling pads across a given gas/oil producing basin. They need to be 2-5 miles apart in order to access the hydrocarbon trapped in the rock. So if Lancashire is to become a shale producing area how many well pads will be required in order to produce from the gas from the Bowland Shale?

flipflop21 Wed 12-Feb-14 18:32:29

This explains leaky wells better than I can.
thetyee.ca/News/2013/01/09/Leaky-Fracked-Wells/
Food for thought really.

Spinflight Sat 15-Feb-14 05:45:45

Lots, the bowland shale is rather extensive. The rewards of course are astronomical.

As for leaky wells, yes it can happen, though it isn't the sort of thing a drilling company wants and could easily cause the multi-million dollar well to be plugged and abandoned.

"if fracturing fluids have been injected to a point outside of the well's capture zone, they will not be recovered through production pumping and, if mobile, may be available to migrate through an aquifer."

This caught my eye though, as migration of the sort they are describing here takes millenia not years. You'll find migration pathways that lead to natural leaks ( well documented and relatively common from before the days of drilling) tens of kilometres from the source.

Also an oil well leaking gas is very distinct from a gas well leaking gas, for obvious reasons. In the former case the gas might merely be burned off ( though there are limits on how much they can burn) until a solution is found, in the latter case you have a problem which has to be fixed or the site will be closed down.

Generally a leak such as those described would be fixed with a down hole pump, though somewhat dependant upon the economics of the well.

flipflop21 Sat 15-Feb-14 09:11:53

Ok - so gas leaking in places where they expect it to would be burned off. What about the methane leaking through pre-exsiting faults along the length of the well - what will be done about this? Am odourless, colourless potent green house (and at high concentrations flammable) gas?

Also wouldn't fluids that have leaked move at a quicker rate if they were under pressure - say from a high pressure injection of fluid in the formation below them?

Also, who would require the company to close down the multi-million pound well to be closed? The company habving invested in it would not be quick to do so - as you say they would have invested millions.

Re the number of wells - you say - "lots" - what does that mean? To put it this way if each drilling pad is about the size of a football pitch and can have about 10 wells extending from that - how many football sized drilling pads do you think there would be at full production when the "astromical rewards" come into play?

flipflop21 Sat 15-Feb-14 11:13:40

Sorry for typos. What's a down hole pump? Thanks

flipflop21 Sat 15-Feb-14 11:38:06

Just saw this and wondered how much harm it could do if the well was say less than a km away from a residential area? Fire started on Tuesday - burnt for at least 72 hours. Maybe well fires have always happened - but wells have not always been proposed in highly populated areas as is now the case.

grist.org/news/just-a-natural-gas-well-exploding-into-flames-nothing-to-see-here/

Spinflight Sat 15-Feb-14 14:18:21

How many football fields? Lots.

Everything is at high pressure thousands of feet down, and gas at these depths is implicitly under a solid seal ( exploration actually looks for potential seals more than it does hydrocarbons) else it would have migrated to the surface millenia ago.

Very true about the risk of fire. A far more rational concern in my opinion than the fracking itself...

ThatBloodyWoman Sat 15-Feb-14 14:24:30

Love the song.

bonny all power to you.

We need to stop raping the earth to satisfy our greed.

flipflop21 Sat 15-Feb-14 16:34:32

Spinflight - "Lots" is very vague - compared to none ten seems like a lot to me - is that what you mean - 10 well pads in the Bowland Shale? 20? How many do you think will be needed in order to make astronomical amounts of money?

The risk of the fire is there because of the fracking - you can't separate the two.

The risks of spillages and blow outs - not a new problem as such - and things can be put in place to mitigate the risk, but the risk to human health is greater when they are drilling in or close to residential areas than when they drill in the middle of the North Sea or a Texan plane...

Re the solid seal - what about geological faults? These can act as conduits to the surface.

Spinflight Sat 15-Feb-14 17:51:23

Faults are usually part of the seal.. Remember this is thousands of feet underground, with different strata between the source rock and the surface.

I'm not qualified to say how many lots is or could be. More than you're imagining though I feel...

flipflop21 Sat 15-Feb-14 19:59:29

Spin flight -I think you are holding out on me.

Alan Whitehead (MP) has suggested that we will need around 100,000 wells across the whole country. That's approximately 10,000 pads. They wouldn't all be operating at once. Each well would have an average life of about 8 years. But each pad would require infrastructure, thousands of litres of water and would produce thousands of litres of toxic waste. The landscape will be changed forever. Did you know that aready? Or is that news to you?

There's a bit on faults here: www.davidsmythe.org/fracking/cuadrilla%20sussex%20critique%20V1.pdf

Spinflight Sat 15-Feb-14 22:30:08

More than I thought. By an order order of magnitude or two.

flipflop21 Sun 16-Feb-14 15:27:07

As I recall the figure is based on an average life of a well being 8 years, producing 1.25bcm of gas and extracting 10% of the shale reserves in the UK. The estimates are based on shale well production rates in the US.Of course until exploratory drilling has been undertaken in the UK, the industry cannot (will not?) say with any certainty how many wells will be needed - but drilling just a few will not be economically viable.

Wytch farm on the other hand has been pumping out oil from the same well since 1979. Shale gas/oil wells don't last that long - so you have to drill another and start all over again - with all the noise, trucks, water use and waste production.

flipflop21 Sun 16-Feb-14 22:23:44

Is it just me or is that just too many wells?

flipflop21 Mon 17-Feb-14 21:37:34
Spinflight Tue 18-Feb-14 01:11:40

That is a lot, and you are correct about oil wells.. Indeed some I believe have been producing for over 100 years.

1.25 Bncm would be a good result from a well, equivalent to about 3000 barrels of oil per day for 8 years ( or more likely 6000 bopd dropping off due to pressure decline ). Maybe a tadge on the high side, not all wells would be that successful.

100,000 of those .... About 80 trillion dollars worth at current prices.

Say 10 trillion per decade for 80 years squished and you are looking at a boom to the economy in GDP terms of nigh on 50% nationally.

Of course the price of energy would drop through the floor, as it has in the states, though it isn't a zero sum game. Cheap energy equals cheaper and more efficient industry, well paying jobs for your children and miles cheaper utility bills. There are few downsides to cheap energy. If the history of energy prices in the US holds up to be true then still a good 15% of GDP, enough to put the North in general, and Lancashire in particular back where it belongs at the pinacle.

But yes, the impact of all those wells would be considerable, almost 5% of Lancashire by area, not including infrastructure such as roads and whatnot.

So it's a tradeoff between economic growth and environmental protection which as I'm from Lancashire is close to my heart.

Of course there is also the issue of who would benefit most. The drilling companies or the people.

At which point I can't help but plug UKIP's policy of a sovereign wealth fund from fracking profits. Would easily clear the national debt within a decade by my calculations...

I doubt anyone would ever agree on the correct extent or formulation, some would consider a single well to be too many and others ( especially those lovely politicians living in Kensington who once saw the North on tele and didn't like it) wondering why only 100,000 wells.

At the end of the day it is for the locals to weigh up the costs and benefits. Some costs though are generally unforeseen or involve losing things which cannot be replaced. Wildlife habitats, natural beauty and peace and quiet being three I can think of.

As for the unforeseen I would caution anyone with $ signs in their eyes to think again, Norway's oil boom was spectacularly good for their economy and they wisely invested the profits ( as Tony Benn wanted to do with our North Sea Oil ) with only 4% available yearly and the rest into their sovereign wealth fund.

Some of the downsides however were unforeseen. When a seaside shack would sell to an oil company for over $1m it gradually pushed the locals out. Easier to sell up and let them build a warehouse or whatnot than stay and watch your hometown change beyond recognition.

I want the best for Lancashire and I certainly don't know where the balance should lie.

flipflop21 Tue 18-Feb-14 20:09:06

My main question then is : when you say it's up to the locals -how will local people be given the say as to whether they want it or not?

There has been some debate as to whether gas prices will fall dramatically - it will be sold on the European Market to the highest bidder - so we are not likely to see the prices fall as they have in the states.

If the companies that are drilling are not UK owned, will they pay UK tax and how does the effect GDP?

Have attached a link to shale fields in USA. 5% of Lancashire could make it sound insignificant but if you look at how the fields are spread and connected it shows the imact fracking could have.

i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01543/shale2_1543452b.jpg

flipflop21 Fri 21-Feb-14 00:11:25
Spinflight Sat 22-Feb-14 02:38:43

I don't think 5% is insignificant at all! Quite the opposite. I calculated it because I expected it to be a shocking figure... And was suitably shocked.

Maybe when I said it is up to the locals I was thinking more of how I think things should be run, rather than how they are run. I would be outraged if large scale drilling went ahead just because a few councilors had been bought off, or a few promises not kept. If left up to the North hating eurocrats in Westminster I think we all know what the result would be...

This indeed happened some time ago in my local area, the local councilors promised that if a landfill site were built on our doorsteps then so would a leisure centre and other goodies. Naturally the huge landfill went ahead and nothing else...

Currently the EU imports 40% of it's gas so there is certainly a large market. Indeed when our domestic industrial rates go down Deutsche Bank is one of the largest buyers. We are talking about a lot of gas though, and not in isolation so I would expect prices to drop, if over a long period, considerably.

Your last point is an awkward one as it depends where in the EU they are registered. Domestic companies would pay UK tax but increasingly companies merely offshore their head offices to Ireland or Switzerland as they have the lowest levels of corporation tax. This is why Google and Ebay hardly pay a penny into our tax system, Ireland gets it instead.

Not that our domestic companies have any form of advantage here, look at the North Sea and you'll see plentiful fields operated by foreign firms.

A tick in the box here, a rubber stamp there and next thing you know a tory or labour MP ends up with a £200,000 a year directorship in a foreign firm for 2 days work a month.... That chap at the environment agency had 11 jobs. My he must be a real hard worker!

Back in 2010 46 of the 50 largest companies in the UK had an MP on their board of directors so keeping the snouts out of the trough is highly unlikely.

Whilst I have no scientific or engineering problems with the process of fracking I do have many with the impact and politics of it. If you are from the North and don't have trust issues with our elected scumbags then I'd like to know how you manage it!

I'd say the anti-fracking lobby has a big image problem though. Scientific or engineering based scaremongering is remarkably easy to check out on t'interweb and spot. Whilst evidently vocal and passionate if the facts don't stand up to scrutiny credibility is quickly lost, indeed making the lobby itself look remarkably like the politicians themselves.

If the loud clear message was that we don't trust the London first elected scumbags with our environment and safety then I think the impact would be much larger. Ruin our landscape to pay off the bankers mistakes? Only noticed the North when they found oil etc...

Earthquakes and dodgy geology have, in my opinion, rather blunted what should have been a forthright and important debate...

flipflop21 Sun 23-Feb-14 13:43:38

Spinflight - we agree on somethings then. I do not trust the government. I do not believe the government has our best interests at heart. when they say frack 800m from homes, streamline regulation, let the companies monitor themselves, arrest people who protest peacefully, ignore local objections, don't undertake environmental impact surveys prior to drilling.. I could go on.

Whilst I agree that lots of the anti-fracking message has been sensationalism there is a growing body of scientific evidence which suggests fracking maybe detrimental to human health ( and I am happy to provide details of this). The other aspect is that without the proper regulation fracking certainly will be harmful. Many of the prerequisites which ensure that harm will be minimised remain as recommendations not regulation. It is not good enough.

I would say that earthquakes and geology have blurred the debate rather than blunted it. However for some people the fracking debate has brought home just how corrupt the government is and how it is using local councils, police and other agencies to support it's own agenda.

Spinflight Sun 23-Feb-14 14:19:31

I would add that the 5% figure as discussed is merely for the drilling sites. If you added in infrastructure, which is inferred but not costed or detailed in my post you'll rather quickly be looking at several times this figure once roads and pipelines are taken into account.

Currently our domestic gas production occurs in the North sea, there is little or no infrastructure on land, or rather infrastructure that hasn't rotted away over the decades. Certainly storage is currently offshore along with various pipelines that we import gas from..

Hence producing the gas is one thing, transporting it to power stations quite another. You can either do this by road or by pipeline - if exports to Europe are envisaged then add in rather a large pipeline running almost the length of the country and a very large gas liquefaction plant. You can see how this adds up in terms of land use... Does anyone really think they're going to route a pipeline through Chipping Norton? Where would the liquefaction plant go that would be needed for exports further afield than Europe?

The liblabcon men cannot open coal or gas power stations, hence the forthcoming energy crisis. Merely seeing the prospective resources figures however does not translate into a solution.

Frankly other solutions exist so fracking should not be discussed in isolation.

Our infrastructure and national grid are designed around coal fired power stations. We still possess billions of tonnes worth of coal beneath our feet yet this industry was destroyed in the internecine warfare between new labour and the unions on the one hand and the tories under Thatcher on the other. Labour indeed closed down more mines than the tories.

The infrastructure is in place in the shape of closed down railway lines to the plants, housing and amenities in the likely mining areas and coal fired plants themselves ( which are about to shut) . Also technology has improved considerably since they were build in the 50s and 60s, modern supercritical boilers are 50% more efficient.

DoctorTwo Sun 23-Feb-14 15:10:58

Exxon CEO revealed as a NIMBY! After pushing fracking on others he's objected to a well being sunk in his 'hood.

flipflop21 Tue 25-Feb-14 19:10:39

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26271662 - this is the story so far in Lancs.

flipflop21 Tue 25-Feb-14 20:59:33

Wales too. - www.llantrithyd.com

flipflop21 Tue 25-Feb-14 21:06:55

Flawed air monitoring in the US - would it be any different over here? How would the EA effectively be able to monitor 1000s of wells in the UK. They have not been able to manage flood protection systems effectively - how good is their track record?

www.bellinghamherald.com/2014/02/25/3497241/fracking-boom-spews-toxic-air.html

Jellykat Tue 25-Feb-14 21:26:52

This is why i'm anti fracking
www.dangersoffracking.com

After the scary climate change influenced Winter we've just experienced, we seriously shouldn't piss about exacerbating the situation.

flipflop21 Wed 26-Feb-14 22:31:08

Chrissie Hynde's daughters summarises the problems here:

"In the UK we are told that it will bring energy prices down. Most people do not understand that the exploration wells that we are seeing at the moment are just the start. Unconventional gas will require tens of thousands of wells over huge areas of the country. Production will require pipelines, compressor stations and waste disposal on a massive scale. The tiny exploration companies will be replaced by massive firms when they sell the information and licences they have gathered."

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/26/natalie-hynde-ban-fracking-uk-protest-balcombe

Spinflight Thu 27-Feb-14 02:28:11

Sadly Jellykat that website contains just the sort of dodgy scaremongering that gives the anti-fracking brigade a bad name. The water table does not extend 10,000 feet down, all of the figures quoted are way off ( by an order of magnitude or two ) and the language betrays uncertainty.

Nice graphics though...

Overall fracking is a relatively clean process as viewed from ground level. I can't help but feel that the focus of opposition is flawed and ineffective.

Natalie Hynde has a better take.

DoctorTwo Thu 27-Feb-14 07:42:37

Fracking is not 'relatively clean' by any stretch of the imagination. Each well requires between 27 and 36 million litres of water which they then poison with chemicals we're not allowed to know about because of commercial confidentiality. It releases methane into the atmosphere and into the groundwater. Each well decreases in production by 40% per annum and will not therefore lead to any reduction in gas prices.

Spinflight Fri 28-Feb-14 00:29:46

Methane into the water?

I farted in the bath earlier, though I appear to still be alive....

flipflop21 Fri 28-Feb-14 22:53:56

Spinflight - this type of incident could also leave one to believe that fracking is not "relatively clean":

"By the time the team arrived more than 13 hours later, brine water and hydraulic fracturing fluids from the well had spewed across nearby fields and into a creek."

www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/27/fracking-spill-response-pa_n_854465.html

I don't know how often this type of thing happens but the greater the number of wells the higher the risk.

You may have survived your windy bath but I'm not sure of the appeal of drinking methanated water. Gives an additional option to the conventional still/ sparkling variety I suppose.

Imagine the fun if you'd have had a match handy.

Spinflight Fri 28-Feb-14 23:26:30

Quite... grin

My point is that people who are concerned about the environmental hazards write their oppositions in terms which would convince themselves.

As we have discussed there are bigger and more convincing issues for a wider audience. Frankly if you want to get anywhere, and as noted it is disappearing from the headlines, it is people like me that you have to convince.

flipflop21 Fri 28-Feb-14 23:59:32

Spinflight - are you aware of the Duke's university study into methane seepage? Not through faults but through faulty well construction.

Duke researchers sampled 60 private water wells in northeastern Pennsylvania and found no sign of fracking fluids. But they did find that methane levels were on average 17 times higher in wells near drilling sites and that some of the methane had the chemical signature of shale gas. It may have leaked into the shallow aquifers, they said, through faulty casings around the gas wells. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) also blamed faulty casings in 2009 when it fined Cabot Oil & Gas for contaminating the drinking supplies of 19 homes in Dimock Township, 60 miles east of the Vargson farm. In that case the methane came not from the shale but from shallow deposits traversed by the gas wells. DEP has also fined gas companies for mishandling fracking wastewater and allowing spills that polluted creeks and rivers.

https://nicholas.duke.edu/cgc/pnas2011.pdf

What do you make of this?

claig Sat 01-Mar-14 09:58:48

flipflop21 is there a website that says the towns and counties of the country where fracking is likely to be carried?

flipflop21 Sat 01-Mar-14 17:31:31

There's this map - the blue bits are potential oil/ gas extraction areas:

blog.decc.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/SEA-and-licensed-areas-.jpg

This is from this website:

blog.decc.gov.uk/2013/12/17/preparing-for-the-14th-round-of-onshore-oil-and-gas-licences/

Is that helpful?

flipflop21 Sat 01-Mar-14 17:55:17

And this document has a list at the end of it I think.
www.parliament.uk/Templates/BriefingPapers/Pages/BPPdfDownload.aspx?bp-id=sn06073

claig Sat 01-Mar-14 18:32:15

Thanks, that is very useful

flipflop21 Sun 02-Mar-14 21:49:16

This is from The Lancet - it raises questions regarding long term health implications of fracking and how to influence policy and the development of the industry in the UK:

"In the USA, where more than 52 000 shale gas wells have been drilled, data
suggest that risks of environmental contamination occur at all stages in the development of shale gas extraction. Failure of the structural integrity of the well cement and casing, surface spills and leakage from above-ground
storage, emissions from gas-processing equipment, and the large numbers of heavy transport vehicles involved are the most important factors that contribute to environmental contamination and exposures in the USA.

Environmental exposures include outdoor air pollutants (ie, volatile organic compounds, tropospheric ozone, and diesel particulate matter) and pollutants (ie, benzene, hydrocarbons, endocrine-disrupting chemicals,
and heavy metals) in both ground and surfacewater. Known occupational hazards include airborne silica exposure at the well pad.11 Toxicological data for the chemicals injected into wells (so-called frac fluid) indicate that many of them have known adverse effects on health, with no toxicological data available for some."

www.psehealthyenergy.org/data/Lancet_Commentary.pdf

Isitmebut Mon 03-Mar-14 14:41:07

Sorry to interject here whilst debating health issues, but with Russia supplying most of Europe in gas, the price is shooting up whether Ukraine shots are fired or anyone’s gas taps are turned off – I’ll reiterate my point on the need for UK gas security of supply – when we’re sitting on so much of the stuff.

Thats me out of this debate again; until the Russian taps DO get turned off and/or the Cold War hots up again.

flipflop21 Mon 03-Mar-14 18:37:56

Dare I say Isitmebut but you seem to be misinformed - we don't get a lot of our gas from Russia. It comes mostly from Norway and Quatar. So events in Russia are not a threat to our gas supplies.

http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/04/decc-energy-statistics,-march-2013

Instead of wrecking our countryside why don't we increase our storage capacity and stop scaremongering about "energy independence".

flipflop21 Mon 03-Mar-14 18:38:24

Dare I say Isitmebut but you seem to be misinformed - we don't get a lot of our gas from Russia. It comes mostly from Norway and Quatar. So events in Russia are not a threat to our gas supplies.

www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/04/decc-energy-statistics,-march-2013

Instead of wrecking our countryside why don't we increase our storage capacity and stop scaremongering about "energy independence".

Isitmebut Mon 03-Mar-14 23:49:16

Hi flipflop21….I’m not going to bother looking into what growing percentage of gas we NEED to import, how many days supply we can store at any on time (and may I remind you of my quote “with Russia supplying most of Europe in gas”), but it’s a market ‘supply and demand’ fact – if Europe can not get ITS gas from Russia, the price will/is shooting up – and without the ability to store the stuff, our economy will be susceptible to volatile price swings, especially coming up to winter months.

Now I have no idea where, how, or the cost (and who would pay for it) of significantly increasing our gas storage capacity - and how long it would take to clear all the pressure groups who’d worry about their views, the danger of explosions, nesting Greebs(?) and haven knows what else – but it is not scare mongering if western Europe has to rely on Russia and Iran’s proven reserves and pipelines for its energy, it’s a geopolitical FACT.

Furthermore, there is no way anyone in government or the private sector will consider the prospects of boosting storage, IF we can harvest our own shale gas, so the sooner we find our IF it is viable and IF it is safe to extract, the better it will be for all the people that rely on gas and are concerned about price spikes, as detailed below. Hoping political/energy risk crisis only happen after a winter during low demand, is not a realistic policy.

www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-03/natural-gas-rises-second-day-on-winter-storm-ukraine-escalation.html

“Natural gas for April delivery fell 11.7 cents to $4.492 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since Jan. 21. Volume for all futures traded was 27 percent below the 100-day average at 2:55 p.m.. Prices are up 6.2 percent this year”.

“The futures tumbled 25 percent last week, capping the biggest one-week drop since 1996 and the first monthly decline since September. Prices reached $6.493 on Feb. 24, the highest intraday price since Dec. 2, 2008.”

Those are real price moves, not "scaremongering".

Spinflight Tue 04-Mar-14 00:42:58

Tug your forlock and be humble flipflop.

CCHQ takes a dim view of plebs trying to meddle with their righteous plans.

Isitmebut Tue 04-Mar-14 10:28:05

Come on Spin…check with your glorious leader for the one domestic policy he would agree with, as if an ex City Oil dealer doesn’t understand trending higher energy prices and that political risks provides high oil price volatility THAT DRIVES UP PEOPLES BILLS, no UK political leader will.

www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/household-bills/10673777/Household-energy-costs-leap-55pc-in-a-decade-despite-falling-usage.html

“Household spending on energy rose 55pc over a decade, excluding the impact of inflation, as soaring prices more than offset a 17pc drop in consumption, new data show.”

“Electricity, gas and other household fuels such as heating oil cost a typical household £106 a month in 2012, up from £69 a month in 2002, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said - with both figures expressed in 2012 money.”

“Energy costs increased from 3.3pc of a household's annual income to 5.1pc as a result.”

History over the past 35-years, never mind last week, shows us that the more we have to rely on dodgy regimes, often in dodgy regions, usually with dodgy expansion plans of their own – the less energy source and price security we have.

Nothing to do with CCHQ, just common bleedin’ sense as an energy consumer since the 1970's.

flipflop21 Tue 04-Mar-14 21:17:35

Isitmebut -Russia is the "largest supplier" of gas in Europe but it supplies less than 30% of Europe's gas - 70% of the gas is from elsewhere.

Fracking is not an immediate solution - it has the potential to meet 10% of our needs in about ten years time and at it's peak ( not in the near future but longer term) it could produce less than 50% of our needs). The UK consumes approx 70bcm of gas per year and fracking could at it's peak produce 32bcm but from the words of Ed Davey himself:

"The US has a closed gas market – massive increases in supply naturally affect prices. We are part of the European market.We source energy from far and wide. And we compete against others for the supply. And gas produced in the UK is sold into this market. When UK gas production in the North Sea was at its highest earlier this decade, UK and continental gas prices were still closely linked and fairly similar.Don't forget that whilst we may extract it here it will actually be sold on the European market. As you say supply and demand - if Europe loses 30% of our gas"

www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-myths-and-realities-of-shale-gas-exploration

And from the Guardian an alternative perspective about current price rises:

"The gas price is currently influenced by temperatures and storage levels, and both don't favour demand right now." Prices of gas for delivery next month have risen around 10%, but that reflects insecurities in the market about a possible military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine rather than worries about fundamental shortages of supply were Gazprom to turn off the taps, the analyst told the agency.

Europe accounts for around a third of Gazprom's total gas sales, and around half of Russia's total budget revenue comes from oil and gas. Moscow needs that source of revenue, and whatever Vladimir Putin's geo-political ambitions, most energy analysts seem to agree he will think twice about jeopardising it. Short of an actual war, the consensus appears to be, Europe's gas supplies are unlikely to be seriously threatened."

www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/03/europes-gas-supply-ukraine-crisis-russsia-pipelines

Storage is the key issue - and improving this is a lot less damaging and a more immediate solution than fracking.

So when I say scaremongering I am referring to your reference that Russia supplies most of the gas to Europe (not true) and that the fear of them "switching the tap off" is causing the price rise (not true) and that they would switch the tap off readily (not likely as they need the boost to their GDP).

flipflop21 Thu 06-Mar-14 12:09:21

Another well on fire in the States this week - imagine that less than a km from your home and within 100 yards of public highway.

www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25271687/oil-gas-explosion-north-greeley-results-two-minor

flipflop21 Thu 06-Mar-14 13:03:25

Research in the US reveals that scientists are only just beginning to find out the impact of fracking on water quality.

www.scientificamerican.com/article/algae-in-glass-cases-could-determine-frackinge28099s-toll/

Isitmebut Sat 08-Mar-14 00:56:14

Flipflop21…..your point on Russian market share is a moot point according to a Wiki source, depending on your EU residence receiving 5% or 100% from Russia, but whether they supply a total of 30,40, or 70% of a huge volume of EU gas, or whether they turn the several pipelines off or have the ability to threaten - it gives them huge political influence e.g Germany’s reluctance to lead the EU economic sanctions – and the ongoing supply/price risk to Europe (and UK competing in those same markets) of replacing all that gas.

According to the European Commission, the share of Russian natural gas in the member states' domestic gas consumption in 2007 was the following:[3]
• Estonia 100%
• Finland 100%
• Latvia 100%
• Lithuania 100%
• Slovakia 98%
• Bulgaria 92%
• Czech Republic 77.6%
• Greece 76%
• Hungary 60%• Slovenia 52%
• Austria 49%
• Poland 48.15%
• Germany 36%
• Italy 27%
• Romania 27%
• France 14%
• Belgium 5%

Your point on ‘current’ prices in a potential ongoing gas supply bun fight means very little as energy companies tend to buy via fixed price contracts and/or in the Futures Market, so apart from what we can store here, it will depend when companies HAVE to buy and/or their ability to buy at the lows, not the highs.

Lets remember when Labour came in to power around the late 19990’s WTI oil was around $20 a barrel, but several years later it hit $147 a barrel and settled in the $95 to $105 range, if memory serves – these prices are not gossip, they trade on exchanges and the records are there.

So how you can say ‘it is not true’ when based on that link on the other page mentioning exchange markets rose and then fell 25% in a short time, totally escapes me.

“The futures tumbled 25 percent last week, capping the biggest one-week drop since 1996 and the first monthly decline since September. Prices reached $6.493 on Feb. 24, the highest intraday price since Dec. 2, 2008.”

I reiterate, those are real price moves, they can both move with similar volatility and affect related markets at any time ( see blow), this is not "scaremongering", markets don’t WAIT for ‘stuff’ to happen, they have to price risk in, both in the ‘spot’ market’ and futures prices.

www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-07/ukraine-crisis-could-boost-lng-prices-if-gas-supply-threatened.html

“A disruption of natural gas supplies to Europe by an escalation of Russia’s military action in Ukraine may boost LNG demand and prices in Asia and South America, according to Societe Generale SA and Morgan Stanley.”

“Russia, which provides Europe with more than a quarter of its natural gas mainly though Ukraine, has cut supplies twice since 2006. While the current crisis hasn’t interrupted exports, liquefied natural gas prices will “move through the roof” if flows transiting Ukraine are stopped, said Thierry Bros, an analyst at Societe Generale in Paris.”

As for how much we can get from Fracking and in how many years, it matters NOT, until we start producing the stuff and every little will help. Think how much nuclear energy we might have had if we had started building nuclear plants, rather than keep putting it off and without breaking ground in the mid 2000’s, have now left it too late. We needed a balance of energy supplies, but nothing much was done about it.

In conclusion whether looking at the past political histories of country energy suppliers, energy market price/volatility histories, or even the recent prices moves, you have NO argument on the need for energy supply/security, as that determines the price we might have to pay over long periods– and Putin is likely to be around a long time, no matter what other ‘event’ happens elsewhere and disrupts global supplies and the knock on effect to us.

Whether the risks of lifting it are real/acceptable, that is another matter beyond my little briefs.

Isitmebut Sat 08-Mar-14 01:30:13

Hot off todays press.
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/10684333/Putin-mocks-the-West-and-threatens-to-turn-off-gas-supplies.html

I reiterate, whether he does or not, markets have to price in 'risk' and buyers have to judge when they jump in and build up future supplies/inventory, as this ex USSR State (Ukraine) , and the two or three others over the past few years e.g. Georgia, could just be the start of ex KGB Putin's nostalgia of bringing countries back into the fold and flexing Russian international muscles, like the 'good old days'.

I think Thatcher said many years ago something along the lines of 'rely on Russian energy, over my dead body'. Well it should not be lost on Cameron that whether we buy it direct or not, Thatcher has indeed gone and this country has to 'rely' on mad Russian political whims influencing energy prices.

flipflop21 Mon 10-Mar-14 22:22:53

Isitmebut . You have provided me with a clearer picture of the relationship between Russian gas and Germany and other countries now.

There are alternative perspectives to the Telegraph regarding the threat from Putin:

uk.reuters.com/article/2014/03/08/ukraine-crisis-gas-europe-idUKL6N0M50BK20140308

www.policymic.com/articles/84677/to-understand-what-s-really-happening-in-ukraine-follow-the-gas-lines-on-this-map

One thing though Isitmebut, I'm struggling to see how the amount of shale gas the UK could produce, particularly in the next ten years or so will make a difference to the volatility of prices.

The UK would produce the gas and then sell it to the highest bidder on the EU market. In order to replace the 30% share Russia has of the European market and the additional percentage produced by the Middle East, we would have to produce vast amounts. If it takes 100,000 wells to be drilled to provide only a fraction of the UK's requirements - how many wells will need to be drilled make a dent in the EU market? We haven't got the same geology or space as the US. Proposed drillings sites are virtually on people's doorsteps and these people are not protected from the impact of this industry - blowouts, flaring, spillages, truck and tanker movements etc, let alone the other risks people are concerned about. These are risks that are definately there and the risk is increased due to the number of wells required and the proximity of these wells to homes and communities.

Increasing storage would have a far more immediate benefit and less detriment.

Consider the alternatives - if we invest elsewhere within the same time span what else could we be using to reduce our dependency on gas from Russia and the Middle East? Fracking is not an immediate result and even at full production there is only the potential to meet a percentage of the UKs needs, let alone denting the EU market.

flipflop21 Wed 12-Mar-14 22:38:16

Just found this and thought I'd air it Isitmebut. I thought it was good..

"The political objective of a new European energy security strategy does not have to be a question of cutting off Russian gas supplies, but rather of achieving a level of flexibility that could allow the EU more choice of energy supply and greater resilience against conflicts in neighbouring countries. If the European Union had such a strategy and the resolve to implement it, it would have moved half way down the road to full energy security."

blogs.independent.co.uk/2014/03/12/europe-can-wean-itself-off-russian-gas/

Isitmebut Thu 13-Mar-14 18:20:18

Flipflop…I was going to answer your previous post, but ended up answering a potty-mouth on another thread first, which is strange because I I usually respond better to nice/polite people, especially if talking about one of my favourite subjects, how markets react.

While I’m now on your other post, let me quickly comment on your last one, and I’m sorry to disappoint you, as European leaders themselves are already pushing the agenda to wean themselves off of Russian gas on energy security grounds, but it is likely to mean pushing back on climate clean energy policies.

Poland, historically used to Russian aggression is more than concerned that the leading power within the EU folded so easily on Putin’s territorial grab, and with an estimated shale gas reserve of 25% that of the U.S., note their new policy below.

www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-11/putin-opens-up-europe-s-energy-fault-line-along-oder-neisse.html

“Vladimir Putin’s play to wrest control of Ukraine is accentuating divisions in the European Union over how to balance climate and energy policies, driving a wedge between Germany and its eastern neighbor Poland.”

“The German-Polish split underscores a broader dilemma over the direction of Europe’s $13 trillion economy and the energy model that powers it. Merkel is focused on cutting pollution and closing German nuclear reactors, consuming more Russian gas in the process. Tusk, more concerned with energy security, is pushing coal and atomic power, and yesterday backed a law to speed up hydraulic fracking to get at domestic hydrocarbons.”

“Germany and Poland in many ways represent a fault line when it comes to defining Europe’s future energy mix,” William Pearson, London-based director for global energy and natural resources at the Eurasia Group, a political-risk consultancy, said in a March 7 telephone interview. Both, he said, “enjoy the support” of other EU nations.”

Isitmebut Fri 14-Mar-14 12:35:03

Flip-flop…back to your 10th March 22;22 post; so let me immediately make one thing clear, I am not expecting the Uk to either worry about, or actually supply, Europe in shale gas. In basic numbers, never mind EU gas CONSUMPTION, as the UK roughly consumes around HALF of the entire EU PRODUCTION, their energy prices and security can not be our concern.

And lets remember that the UK is not the only country sitting on shale energy. Russia unfortunately is also rich in shale gas, BUT China and the U.S. are likely to become the largest shale EXPORTERS, with Argentina and Mexico fairly close behind, but quite how that can be piped to Europe, again that is not currently our concern, but will help keep a lid on market prices/volatility.

But in the context of your post 10th March , just taking the U.S. as an example of what we could do domestically, they are first satisfying domestic demand (and security) before exporting shale gas – with the following (I’m sure arguably) positive repercussions mentioned in the link below.

“How the U.S. shale boom will be felt around the world”
www.cnbc.com/id/101416763

I’ll get to MARKET PRICES and storage in a moment, but the security of UK GAS supplies clearly is our problem, especially when we consider our usage in split into 3 roughly equal sectors; our electricity generation, our domestic/heating uses and our Industries – all nationally imperative to our daily lives, especially as electricity power ‘outages’ are already due within a few years, or the first severe/prolonged UK winter.

For the sake of my argument, lets assume that the estimated figures on shale gas reserves are correct and the 10% recovery statistic is correct. The UK apparently has 1.300 trillion cubic feet of ONSHORE shale gas (just across 11 counties, never mind the rest) and if only 10% of that is recoverable, on back-of cigarette packet calculations, that is around 50-years of OUR needs. And that is without the OFFSHORE shale gas, potentially estimated to have reserves several times our proven onshore reserves.

Safety of lifting the (fracked) gas aside, why would we choose not to get both the energy and economic benefits of shale energy, while other countries blessed with the ‘stuff’ see all the domestic potential benefits and start exploration/lifting? Storage of 30, 60, or even 90-days gas supplies MAY protect us from short term energy ‘shocks, but storage will not protect us from medium to long term upward price trends.

To expand on my storage view, I’ll reiterate an earlier point, in an already ‘tight’ energy market, most country gas producers to my knowledge are not sitting on huge excess capacity that can be turned up at a moments notice, so the majority of their ‘product’ has been bought (possibly months before in the Futures markets) in fixed quantities and fixed prices. So in an energy ‘shock’, that can last for years as a threat or event, there is a bun fight for any spare energy e.g. gas, just as the price has rocketed (remembering markets ‘discount’ good or bad news into a price often several months ahead).

And currently whether we doubled our storage or not, the UK (as an importer) has to join that bun fight and pay whatever they have to,

Now you could rightly turn my earlier information back on me and say, let the other countries exporting shale gas stop the price rises, but that can no more be relied on than say OPEC, meeting and then collectively lowering the amount of oil lifted to maintain an oil price ‘around $90 to $110 that they consider both protects the countries within with higher production costs, and is ‘fair’ to all. And the richer the emerging countries become, the more energy their populations will need/consume, putting further upward pressures (that currently doesn’t exist) on energy prices.

Finally, I agree shale gas will not solve our energy problems now, but IMO whether financially or practically, with electricity outages soon, we have left it far too late to explore and nationally invest in ‘alternatives’, as no decisions were made when we HAD the money and time.

If we had acted on policy statements around 2005, we would be on schedule to replace nuclear energy in 2015 to STOP those outages, rather than having just started on them. If as a nation in the 2000’s we would have made less profligate 'fat government' choices and invested more time and money in renewables, one again we would also be tapping that energy now.

Instead we are heading for £1,500,000,000,000 (£1.5 trillion) of national debt by 2015, and in the likelihood of an anti business Labour administration coming in until 2020, the ONLY way of reducing the interest on that debt, never mind the principal amount, is by business profits/growth, spending cuts, and/or tax rises. Isitmebut is it a stretch to see under Labour lower business growth, less spending cuts and more taxes?

This to my mind puts the final nail in national renewable energy investment and makes the fracking tax receipts and energy supply/security, for all businesses and consumers, somewhat of a national necessity.

flipflop21 Fri 14-Mar-14 21:50:44

Shale gas will not make any difference in the short term to any up and coming power outages. It's all very well saying if we had done such and such in 2005 we wouldn't have this problem now. Fracking will not solve that problem so I reiterate my question - what will?

Regarding fracking tax receipts and national debt - in your opinion how much risk to human health does there have to be to make it a risk not worth taking?

For example how happy would you be for example for a flare to be burning 24 hours a day just a km from your home? Flaring can result in a number of toxic chemicals being released into the atmosphere. There is a risk of high levels of plyacromatic hydrocarbons, sulphur di-oxide and soot particles. There are no emission limits in the permits and the oil/gas company doing the drilling only spot sample for a few chemicals. There is also no restriction on how close they can drill to residential areas.

Whilst some see pound signs, the realities of shale extraction - not the media hyped up version, the up close and personal experience of onshore oil/gas exploration is not a positive one.

Can you understand my concerns?

Isitmebut Sat 15-Mar-14 01:02:19

Flipflop…of course I understand your concerns, they are no doubt everyone’s concerns, until proven safe – but as history is littered with peoples concerns on ‘change’, that turned out to be unfounded and/or outweighed by the benefits – everyone has to be open to facts.

But how stupid will it be on all levels including carbon footprints, if fracked gas has to travel here from China, the U.S. or South America, when we are sitting on our own.

As for your “its all very well saying if we had done such and such in 2005 we would not have the problems now”, I cannot understand why you are not getting the irony that INACTION a decade ago to a known problem, is bad governance that affects the people through their pockets.
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/politics/1983467-UK-Energy-Policy-Price-scandal-outages-due

Especially when the last Energy Minister of that government (Miliband), has been cynically electioneering that despite energy shocks like Russia/Ukraine, the fool can CONTROL energy prices now, by telling the companies that he KNEW back then were building nuclear power stations at their own cost (that would have to be recovered via people’s bills), has to now absorb the costs of energy price volatility.

Why then for the privilege of subsidising the UK with power stations costing around £10 billion each and then below market price energy, would these energy companies then build these nuclear power stations?

So this is not just about tax receipts, it is a building national crisis and we should not compound bad governance a decade ago, with more now, ‘making do’ with planned outages over the short term, for the benefit of the medium to long term.

I reiterate we had the largest annual budget deficit in Europe, so we cannot NOW afford large investments in renewable energy ourselves that will provide relatively little power to fill the growing energy gap, yet happen to be sitting on a huge natural resource – so the SOONER we know the facts and lift the stuff safely, the better.

As to YOUR scare stories of ‘flames, toxic this, hydro that, and other fatal malarkeys’ next to homes, the Bowland Shale Basin in the UK, said to be the largest basin of shale gas in the world, IS SPREAD ACROSS 11 COUNTIES. Why in god’s name would drilling have to be next to my home, or anyone elses?

Until we KNOW shale gas is recoverable safely, is there any surprise there is no legislation in place specifying distances from residential and other properties.

flipflop21 Sat 15-Mar-14 07:20:37

There is an exploration bore hole a km from my home, in fact it is less than a km from 1000s of homes.
Yes - why on earth have they been allowed to do it there? You tell me.

flipflop21 Sat 15-Mar-14 07:58:35

Sorry more precisely 1.1 km from the homes of about 2000 people.

flipflop21 Sat 15-Mar-14 10:25:21
flipflop21 Fri 21-Mar-14 19:10:42

Isitmebut - you have presented strong arguments regarding the economics of fracking but that is only part of the picture. No response to my last post ? Are you a converted anti-fracker? hmm

Isitmebut Fri 21-Mar-14 21:03:12

May I plead ‘the 5th’ rather than disappoint you and your Green Captain Sensible views?

Seriously, although I can imagine that there are all sorts of nasty toxic niffs coming out of carbon energy bore holes of any kind, and anywhere, from coal mines to North Sea oil rigs, but I have no idea how they adapt/nullify/disperse them.

As you know my arguments are simple on national, security, economic, tax, market and costs grounds if the answer is legislate for all fracked shale PRODUCTION to be a ‘safe’ distance from homes, whatever that is, then so be it.

The exploratory bore holes to gauge the extent of reserves etc should not be close to homes, but if they are, adequate filtering or whatever of toxic niffs should always be provided.

If we as a country had decided that no coal should be mined, or no North Sea oil fields drilled in case something nasty came out, we could have been have been as ‘prosperous’ as a State run/subsidized Russia (without the oil) or a Portugal without the sun and beaches, who knows.

So I’m repeating earlier points, as a welfare State that clearly still wants to be so, but has an ongoing battle to balance our economy, heading for £1,500,000,000,000 (£1.5 trillion) of National Debt by 2015, with interest as ultra low rates we still are paying £53 billion a year in debt service cost - that can only go substantially higher and eating into annual spending budgets for decades to come – we have to embrace fracking, utilizing whatever cutting edge technology we have, to make it safe.

flipflop21 Fri 21-Mar-14 22:57:11

I'll not send you some lentils to weave then!

Regarding your nasty toxic niffs (so to speak!) you say there should be adequate filtering - by that I presume you mean that they should be able to extract hydorcarbons without reducing local air quality to a harmful level?

If safety features which mitigate the risks posed by flaring are not in place should exploration/ extraction companies be allowed to carry on and drill anyway?

Isitmebut Sat 22-Mar-14 00:48:15

I suspect however ‘bad’ the opposite of a lentil weaver is, I’d be holding my hands up on most counts, sorry.

Air quality is always good, flaring avoided at all costs, to satisfy the greens, maybe nature should be the benchmark?

Someone should stand behind a cow and test for the niff, toxicity and flare risks of their farts – if any worse than that, it shouldn’t be allowed by law.

Who sez I'm making up policies up on the hoof.

flipflop21 Sat 22-Mar-14 23:40:39

They could do the cow arse test.

Or they could monitor the air properly and then make sure that they are using the best available technology to reduce rogue emissions. They could also run a gas analysis to ensure that they know what gases are likely to be released.

But this isn't what they do - it's too expensive and slow. So unless there's obsessive anti-frackers finding this stuff out and asking questions, oil and gas companies can appear to do virtually what they want.

Incidentally, my green credentials are virtually non-existent. I wanted to actually like fracking as they were potentially doing it so close to me. But now I've looked beyond flaming taps and tax revenues, I don't.

Isitmebut Mon 24-Mar-14 10:40:33

I passed the horse’s ar$e test with honours, and now aspire to the cows.

On that subject (kinda), I saw a Countryfile repeat yesterday morning, and one of the subjects was a localised industry using a 24-hour chicken pooh converter into methane, and then making electricity – and I was quite impressed.

So now I’ll own up, generally I am pro green/energy renewables if 24-hour practical e.g. a wind turbine that can function (rather than be turned off) in a stiff British gale, and the cost of production isn’t at too much of a premium to traditional carbon based/nuclear energy.

But as I’ve mentioned, on nuclear power that forms the mainstay of most countries energy source balance, we have we have both run out of money and time, relying on a foreign State to both fund and design our new age reactors.

And yes if we had more money (and time) we could plough funds into developing more renewables, but due to our projected energy gap for years ahead we would be running just to stand still, so we need a plan to leap that gap within years.

But where we totally agree is that there should be NO shortcuts using all current and bespoke technology to solve every current safety issue raised.

Once on stream, fracking gives us so many options, so if the/any government wants to get the people on side with fracking, then IMO they have to OVER compensate on addressing peoples safety fears, after all, better found diligent now, than being found malfeasant later.

flipflop21 Mon 24-Mar-14 21:11:23

This looks good too:

www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/exclusive-renewable-energy-from-rivers-and-lakes-could-replace-gas-in-homes-9210277.html
"Millions of homes across the UK could be heated using a carbon-free technology that draws energy from rivers and lakes in a revolutionary system that could reduce household bills by 20 per cent."

Regarding safety, the government keeps reiterating how our regulatory measures are so robust, however the experience locally is that this is not the case. There are so many anomalies:

planning application inaccuracies,
lack of Environmental Assessments,
ineffective monitoring,
self monitoring,
necessary permits to remove waste not being in place,
planning agreements regarding truck movements and noise levels not being adhered to,
drilling companies having limited liabilities for any damage they may cause .. the list goes on.

The reality of regulation vs the govenrment rhetoric is my greatest concern.

The government has got a lot of work to do to convince me that they have our best interests at heart when they overturn european directives for mandatory Enviromental Impact Assessments, when they are actively "streamlining" the permit application processes, changing the law in order to reduce local government's power to object to drilling applications cutting the funding one of the regulatory bodies (the EA) lobbying to change the law to enable drilling under peoples' homes so if people do object they won't be able to do a thing about it, and then arresting people who protest peacefully.

This is all within the context of key members within the cabinet having investments (and in the case of Lord Browne a directorship) in drilling companies.

At Fernhurst, West Sussex the drilling company said that each well they fracked would produce enough oil to supply the UK for three days. Three days??? What's the point of that?!

So as I say - they have a lot of work to do.

claig Mon 24-Mar-14 21:33:53

"In reality it is becoming increasingly clear that the shale revolution is a short-term flash in the energy pan, a new Ponzi fraud, carefully built with the aid of the same Wall Street banks and their “market analyst” friends, many of whom brought us the 2000 “dot.com” bubble and, more spectacularly, the 2002-2007 US real estate securitization bubble"

Saw an interesting article about shale gas where the pretty good political analyst, William Engdahl, said that it was a ponzi scheme. First time I have heard that, so don't know if it is true. But he is often quite a good analyst - he rightly says that global warming is a scam and he is spot on on GM food etc.

Tha article I saw was about Ukraine and how he felt that the shale prospects there were not as good as were being made out.

At Fernhurst, West Sussex the drilling company said that each well they fracked would produce enough oil to supply the UK for three days. Three days??? What's the point of that?!

He says that a lot of the extraction is uneconomic and there are not long-lasting reserves that can be accessed from some of the wells.

Here is one of his many articles on the theme, explaining his thinking

www.globalresearch.ca/the-fracked-up-usa-shale-gas-bubble/5326504

Isitmebut Tue 25-Mar-14 10:32:04

Claig…I guess I get the point that over the centuries we have had hyped up new commodity markets; the tulip, South Sea Bubble, rail, cars, planes, internet etc where stock market valuations soar in a kind of frenzied investor Ponzi scheme, then reality sets in, and valuations crash, taking decades to get back to original lofty heights.

The U.S. has already seen huge benefits in shale that has created countless jobs, lowered costs to businesses and consumers – and they will be self sufficient in oil/gas and exporting the stuff within a few years now; some Ponzi Scheme.

The recoverable shale gas benefits to the UK lasting 50-years are being calculated at 10% of proven reserves across 11 counties, which I don't think covers Sussex. Even if its only 5% recoverable and lasts 25-years, it buys us time. IMO.

Maybe if people stopped objecting to exploration wells and companies realised that there was only '3-days supply', they'd move on, and save a whole lot of stress/knicker bunching to those who will NOT be affected directly.

flipflop21 Tue 25-Mar-14 20:10:50

Isitmebut Sussex is definately on the cards for being fracked - that's why they're exploring there. Kimmeridge clay of the Weald Basin is a gas rich shale.

This map shows in yellow where licences are already in place and in blue where they are consulting on now.

blog.decc.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/SEA-and-licensed-areas-.jpg

You need to be aware Isitmebut that on average a shale well will produce 1.25 bcm of gas in its lifetime. The UK consumes approx 87bcm per year. This works out as .24bcm a day. Therefore each well will produce enough gas to fuel the UK for 5.2 days.

How many wells will you need to produce 40 years of gas for the whole of the uk? You do the maths - I've already gone over this before.

Isitmebut Tue 25-Mar-14 20:52:02

Re Sussex, excuse me I lost focus, for some reason I was just thinking about the Bowland shale basin due to that is where most recoverable gas figures come from that I've seen.

I get your point on one well (and nasty niffs) fueling the UK for 5.2 days, but based on time and cost, I wonder how long a wind turbine would fuel the UK for, 5.2 seconds? Just a silly thought, move on, nothing to worry about.

flipflop21 Tue 25-Mar-14 20:57:49

How long does a wind turbine last? The average life of a fracking well is about 8 years - so in it's lifetime a wind turbine would probably provide more energy.. not sure though.

flipflop21 Tue 25-Mar-14 22:26:53

£10.5 million for a test well at 2011 prices.

Whitlee windfarm average cost of a turbine approximately £1.4million, £300 million for the whole windfarm.

Average life time of wind turbine - expected to be at least 20 years.

Isitmebut Wed 26-Mar-14 13:37:16

Flipflop….I suspect the only ‘gas’ we get from a wind turbine will depend on the operators diet. Sorry, I can't seem to get away from bad bottom burping observations.

Look, I don’t want to get further into the comparisons of wind energy, cost per megawatt (onshore & offshore) to nuclear, coal, solar or shale, the current generous government subsidies, the surprising small percentage of the day the thing works, the current energy generated by wind versus our needs, how many turbines it would take to replace/generate the electricity generated by gas (now and in the future) – mainly coz I don’t know enough about it. Lol

If thanks to people like you, keeping the debate alive and government on their toes, fracking/shale can safely be found and lifted as an answer to our dwindling supplies of gas and ever greater need to rely on imports, then we need to move forward asap. Thats all I can say.

flipflop21 Wed 26-Mar-14 18:30:25

Thanks Isitmebut - it's been useful to discuss this with you - and btw nothing wrong with a bottom burping observations.......

Daddy0dude Thu 22-May-14 15:52:58

I live in Balcombe and it has been shocking how aweful Cuadrilla's performance has been in complying with regulations and conditions - exceeding limits set but not reporting them..... regulatory bodies not monitoring...and most concerning of all, regulatory bodies disregarding the risk to public health from flaring emissions and passing the buck.

It was a sad day for democracy when the WSCC planning committee, like every other body involved in this process from the EA to the DECC, dismissed some of the most serious concerns as �not in their remit� when deciding on the most recent application for flow-testing.

The UK regulations may well be tighter than the US, but they are disfunctional and proven to be ineffective at preventing the risks they are supposed to safeguard against.

So what does the government do? Repeats the one sided rhetoric and loosens the regulations...

Isitmebut Thu 22-May-14 18:27:15

"Ineffective in preventing the risks"....really, have I missed any major incidents?

The EU sees Fracking as the 'bridge gap' until more enviro friendly alternative can be afforded or new ones come on tap, useful now Russia is now selling its gas to China and we were left in such a bad energy position by the last government.

flipflop21 Sat 24-May-14 20:18:04

You just need to google frack spillages, fracking accidents, fracking well blowouts.

Isitmebut Tue 27-May-14 12:47:07

OK flipflop, thank you for that.

Further to a much earlier point of mine on the serious need to find out how much of this 'stuff' is recoverable due to our national energy crisis, before acute national 'knicker bunching' - I wonder if we are getting a better idea of the true situation, or is it still as regionally clear as chemically fracked mud.
www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/no-gas-found-in-the-weald-basin-does-this-spell-the-end-of-the-governments-dream-of-a-fracking-revolution-9428918.html

flipflop21 Tue 27-May-14 19:35:17

How do they find out?

flipflop21 Fri 30-May-14 18:23:56

I've remembered now...they find out how much oil/gas they can get out by fracking...

www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/29/cuadrilla-fracking-permission-lancashire-shale-rock

So that's why people are getting the knickers in a twist.....

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