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Guest Post: It’s time for the UK to Fraxit

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Guest post by Peter Strachan and Alex Russell

On Tuesday the US Environmental Protection Agency released its study concluding that hydraulic fracturing can impact drinking water at each stage in the shale gas production process. In this guest post, professors Peter Strachan and Alex Russell assess the case for fracking in the UK against six “stress tests” and conclude that it fails in each case. They argue that it’s time for the UK to learn the lessons of the US and Fraxit now.

Plans for onshore shale gas extraction – or rather high volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) or fracking – are proving to be somewhat explosive in the UK. Politically there is a north south divide on the wisdom of engaging with fracking, with the Conservative controlled south hell bent on pushing it at all costs and the Scottish National Party (SNP) north dancing a ‘dinna ken’ highland jig around the issue, much to the chagrin of Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.

Following the publication of six reports on 8 November the Scottish Government has now announced that it will launch a consultation in January 2017, with a final decision likely to be reached in the second half of 2017.

At a recent meeting at Westminster of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas meeting (DrillOrDrop report), six “stress tests” were discussed on which a decision should logically be based:

  • social licence or public support
  • economic benefits
  • indirect economic effects
  • public health and environmental impacts
  • climate impact
  • energy security

We believe that fracking fails on all counts and should be banned in Scotland and across the whole of the UK, even if this seems more unlikely in England at this moment (see here).

Stress Test 1: Fracking has no social licence

The fracking industry’s Achilles-heel is that it lacks any meaningful public support, even in the US. A recent Gallup Poll undertaken there found that: only 36% favour fracking, with 51% opposing it.

Dare an increasingly unpopular UK Government continue to support its business funding links at the expense of the public when even its Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Public Opinion Tracker published in October 2016 found that: only 17% of the general public support fracking?  In comparison: 79% support renewables.

Another opinion poll undertaken by ICM (for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers) two years ago found that nearly half of those surveyed would be unhappy to have a fracking play within a 10-mile radius of their homes.  Proximity is an important issue in the UK. In Scotland fracking wells will be located close to densely populated areas.

In addition to being famous for its castles, whisky and fare, one of Scotland’s unique international selling points is the scenic beauty of its mountains, rivers and wider natural environment. A natural environment that is free of toxic water, land and air

A survey by BMG Research reported in the Herald newspaper last month found that 54% of Scottish respondents said that they supported a ban on fracking and fewer than a fifth were opposed to the ban.

Francis Egan, Chief Executive of shale gas producer Cuadrilla, revealed at a recent House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee that his company has found it extremely difficult to get to the point of drilling even one well. This has taken around four years, he said.  In the same timeframe he said the US shale industry has drilled some 120,000 wells.

Drilling anywhere near that number of wells in Scotland and England, would amount to the UK becoming one giant gas field.  Lower estimates suggest that around 16,000 wells will be drilled, which in terms of the tiny landmass of the UK is very significant indeed.  Wells will be fracked near and perhaps even under people’s homes, their places of work, and the schools that their children attend.

Stress Test 2: Fracking benefits are small, costs large

In the US, fracking is proving to be a boom and bust industry. At a recent Oil and Gas UK Business Breakfast, Martin Gilbert the Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management also said that fracking was a debt-laden industry.

We can expect the same to happen here if we allow fracking. Last month’s KPMG Economic Impact Assessment and Scenario Development of Unconventional Oil and Gas report, written for the Scottish Government, revealed that, “If oil and gas prices were to remain at historically low levels, it would be unlikely that Unconventional Oil and Gas resources could be developed economically.”

Taking the lower measurements of economic contribution of Unconventional Oil and Gas to Scotland up to 2062, it is astonishing how low these are:

  • Total spend: £1.5 billion;
  • Spend in Scotland: £0.5 billion;
  • Total additional economic impact: £0.1 billion;
  • Additional jobs created: 470; and,
  • Additional tax receipts: £0.5 billion.

Perhaps these negligible economic benefits should be of no surprise. A plain speaking letter written last year by more than 800 people holding public office in New York State, US, to Lancashire County Council, England, stated that:

“We are sure that the fracking industry will promise jobs and prosperity. We urge you to treat these claims with deep skepticism. The experience in the US is that these claims are false and vastly overstated.”

In terms of impact on jobs, in Australia it has been found that for every 10 new gas jobs created, 18 agricultural jobs were lost.

In addition, the New York State letter outlined some of the other immense costs attached to fracking:

“Meanwhile, local communities are faced with significant costs including road and infrastructure damage, emergency response, heightened crime rates, and lingering contamination and pollution.” 

Stress Test 3: Fracking is toxic to the wider economy

Fracking will prove toxic to other economically-important sectors. Drawing on experience from elsewhere it may well damage tourism, the agricultural, food and drink sectors, and even the banking sector.

In addition to being famous for its castles, whisky and fare, one of Scotland’s unique international selling points is the scenic beauty of its mountains, rivers and wider natural environment. A natural environment that is free of toxic water, land and air. Any major fracking push will undoubtedly damage Scotland’s brand and the wider economy long term.

To date there has been little discussion on the impact on the finance and banking sectors. However, the aforementioned KPMG report did state:

“Development of Unconventional Oil and Gas in Scotland will also rely on an ability to obtain appropriate funding (debt and/or equity) to support exploration and extraction.”

Both the UK and Scottish Government have scored brownie points in the past by claiming to be family-friendly in their approach to making policy decisions. Here is an acid test for them.

The recent financial crisis witnessed in the US fracking industry will undoubtedly impact on the banking sector’s appetite to invest up to $100 billion over a 20-year period to make the industry meaningful in the UK.  Since the start of last year, more than 60 North American oil and gas companies have gone bust, with liabilities totalling $22.5 billion. According to one report, “even if crude prices return to $50 to $60 a barrel, half of the shale companies will be unable to stay in business”.

Closer to home The Telegraph has recently reported that Cuadrilla had very little revenue in 2015, recording losses of almost $18 million. Yet Cuadrilla’s directors were paid more than $1.5 million in 2015, with the highest paid director receiving a pay packet of more than $700,000 (Drill or Drop).

With such losses the question arises, will the fracking industry ever generate any tax revenue for the Treasury? It would be possible to ask the Office for Budget Responsibility for their best guess but why bother given the inaccuracies of their previous oil and gas forecasts?

Stress Test 4: Fracking fails spectacularly on public health and the environment

Based on the US experience, and there is no evidence to suggest it would be any different here in the UK, fracking fails spectacularly when it comes to public health and impact on the natural environment. Following the publication of a high quality report by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, one of their Commissioners said:

“High-volume hydraulic fracturing poses significant adverse impacts to land, air, water, natural resources and potential significant public health impacts that cannot be adequately mitigated.”

It is clear that government, business, and researchers (medical, natural and social scientists) are only just starting to understand the wider impacts on people and the environment.  The scientific literature that is available has mostly been published since 2013.

Further to the comprehensive evidence documented by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation one recent article that reviews the now rapidly expanding field of public health and environment impacts produced some damning results.  For the sake of brevity the results are:

  • 84%of the literature on health revealed public health hazards, elevated risks, or health impacts;
  • 69%of the literature indicated positive associations or actual evidence of water contamination; and,
  • 87%found elevated air pollutants and atmospheric concentrations of pollutants.

This article, Toward an Understanding of the Environmental Health Impacts of Unconventional Natural Gas Development and the literature upon which it is based, is a must read for anyone wishing to understand the risks associated with fracking. A filmed presentation of the findings and the methodology that underpins this article can be viewed at the 2016 Shale Gas and Public Health Conference.

A second study clearly indicates the dangerous, and arguably unacceptable nature of the chemicals used in fracking.  Undertaken by the Yale School of Public Health and published in the journal “Science of the Total Environment” it found that numerous carcinogens involved in fracking have the “potential” to contaminate water, land and air.  The research team examined an extensive list of chemicals.

Nicola Sturgeon should meet the challenge head on and show the outside world that Scotland really has the claim to being an independent free thinking nation, not controlled by short-term unethical fixes, or dominated by self-serving resource consuming nations like the US.

Both the UK and Scottish Government have scored brownie points in the past by claiming to be family-friendly in their approach to making policy decisions. Here is an acid test for them. Research has shown the most vulnerable section of society through their potential exposure to the carcinogenic pollutants used in fracking are children, with leukaemia being a major concern. So a question for Theresa May, Greg Clark, and Nicola Sturgeon: What is more important to you, the dividends that will be paid to shareholders in oil companies or the health of children of ordinary people?

The science behind the public health and environment impacts of fracking is now starting to emerge, with more public and privately funded research needed.  But what should concern the general public is that insufficient weight appears to being attached to these issues.  What peer-reviewed medical evidence that is available appears to being overlooked to facilitate fracking. 

Stress Test 5: Fracking threatens the climate

Fracking without Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology is a show-stopper. Commissioned by the Scottish Government, the report“Unconventional Oil and Gas: Compatibility with Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets” concludes that emissions from fracking, would be “significant” and “inconsistent” with climate change emission targets.

Research by Professor Nick Cowern and Dr Robin Russell-Jones submitted to the UK Climate Change Committee identified a key problem with fracked gas: from a climate change perspective, fugitive methane emissions make shale gas worse than coal by a factor of two.  

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas.  It has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) 87 times greater than an equivalent mass of CO2 on a 20 year timeframe.  These researchers have further noted, “that overall half of the rise in atmospheric levels of methane seen globally since 2007 is due to oil and gas, notably shale extraction in the US”.

Fracking is a gangplank for climate chaos.  As such, where does this leave our commitments to the Paris Agreement?

Stress Test 6: Fracking is creating energy insecurity

Onshore fracking, rather than being a panacea to the multifaceted energy conundrum confronted by UK, is more likely to exacerbate its dire energy plight. 

First, fracking fails lamentably to address the looming 2020 energy crisis for a multitude of reasons, including the obvious fact that a UK shale revolution could never happen quickly enough. It would only take one untoward incident – be it contamination of an aquifer, leakage of methane on a grand scale, flooding from one of the huge number of required decontaminating standing storage units for polluted water from the wells or even a fracking-induced earthquake – to totally derail the entire UK fracking venture. There has to be a better way to keep the lights burning and our homes warm.

Second, by placing too much focus on fracking at the expense of other energy options the UK Government is creating energy insecurity.  It is a threat to the offshore oil and gas industry and the renewables sector. Fracking in the US has caused the loss of thousands of UK North Sea-related jobs. It is unimaginable that a UK Government should add to that woe by aping US fracking folly.

Third, the focus by the UK Government on “gas” as a bridging fuel is derailing the UK’s transition to a lower carbon economy.  Is the UK really serious about taking a world lead in showing the way forward for others to follow? Or has a short-term fix blinded Westminster to taking an ethical approach to its energy policy?

Scotland says Fraxit, England should too

The SNP pledged in their 2016 Manifesto, “We will not allow fracking or Underground Coal Gasification in Scotland unless it can be proved beyond any doubt that it will not harm our environment, communities or public health.”

Based on this statement, the publication of their six expert reports on fracking and other evidence (including that presented in this article) the SNP Government at Holyrood should, with pride, take an ethical approach and ban onshore fracking.

Nicola Sturgeon should meet the challenge head on and show the outside world that Scotland really has the claim to being an independent free thinking nation, not controlled by short-term unethical fixes, or dominated by self-serving resource consuming nations like the US.

As it happens, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the nation’s environmental watchdog, has just released an exhaustive study on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water in the US. According to the accompanying press release, in the study “EPA identified cases of impacts on drinking water at each stage in the hydraulic fracturing water cycle. Impacts cited in the report generally occurred near hydraulically fractured oil and gas production wells and ranged in severity, from temporary changes in water quality, to contamination that made private drinking water wells unusable.”

Is this what we want to see happen in the UK as well? Ban fracking now and put Fraxit into the world lexicon.

Peter Strachan is Professor of Energy Policy, Robert Gordon University. Professor Alex Russell is Chair of the Oil Industry Finance Association.  The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and not those of the Robert Gordon University or Affiliates.

This article is used with the authors’ permission and first appeared in EnergyPost.eu on 14/12/2016

100 replies »

  1. An excellent and very articulate article Peter Strachan and Alex Russell – thank you.

    Now we’ll watch Peeny and his mates (Mr M is awake and tweeting from Australia so it shouldn’t take too long) desperately try to smear the reputation of these academics who have dared to cross their industry.

    I’ll get the popcorn ….

    • I agree an excellent article and no doubt, as you say Refracktion, the pro industry supporters, will indeed respond and sadly will include personal attacks.
      It unfortunately seems to be the MO of many industry supporters.
      The scientific evidence continues to mount against this industry and I hope the Scottish government bans fracking permanently.

    • This is nothing more than a cheap propaganda piece. Just look at some of the verbage: “In the US, fracking is proving to be a boom and bust industry. At a recent Oil and Gas UK Business Breakfast, Martin Gilbert the Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management also said that fracking was a debt-laden industry.”

      How can anyone who writes garbage like this be taken seriously? Fracking is a boom and bust industry? Pray tell, professors, how the fracking industry (there is no such a thing, btw) is any different from the oil & gas industry, or any other commodity-linked business? It is only boom and bust insofar as the commodity cycle makes it such. The industry sources capital from credit markets, but so do other capital-intensive commodity-linked businesses. The industry has been a financial success of almost unimaginable proportion since its inception. Firms have undoubtedly gone bankrupt, as they do in every industry, but the amount of wealth that has been created is stunning, How do you rectify this FACT with your notion that this is a boom and bust industry?

      The article states that 18 jobs in agriculture were lost for every 10 gained from fracking in Australia. But that’s not what the study cited said at all, is it Professor Propaganda? No, the study said that several factors were likely to blame for the loss of agricultural jobs, including drought, and a migration of labor off of farms, and perhaps even the opportunity for better paying jobs in the energy sector. The study also noted that the energy industry had created massive employment in Australia. Sorry to inject FACTS into the discussion. I am such a party pooper!

      I could go on and on, but it’s hardly worth it. This is just a hatchet job. None of it has basis in fact. It is simply more hyperbole from the anti-fact, anti-frack mafia. Business as usual.

      • Wealth for the few may be but not for those directly and indirectly impacted by its short, medium and long term consequences… damaged air soil and water quality, health, depressed property values and quality of life.

        Fracking has magnified drought conditions in several areas by drawing billions of gallons of water from their supplies, lowering water tables substantially and sometimes polluting them. There are a number of towns in Texts now that are going into decline and relying on trucked water for this reason. None of the water used for fracking can get returned to its natural cycle.

        I expect that if you offset the ‘stunning wealth’ generated against the unimaginable costs of restoring the damage done, not to mention the climate change contribution, you’d be looking at lose lose.

        • “Wealth for the few may be but not for those directly and indirectly impacted by its short, medium and long term consequences… ”

          Well, Phil, this gas now supplies about 70% of our needs in America, and we are exporting it all over the world as well. So there are certainly a lot of people dealing with the consequences. They have to pay lower prices to stay warm now. Some who would otherwise die from fuel poverty, are going to live. Others are being forced to absorb the high prices attendant with expensive renewables, and some of them will die, no doubt.

          We are also forced to deal with a massive reduction in GHG emissions and general air pollution in the US because of fracking.

          We are forced to deal with more jobs, and more wealth for the middle class – who are also forced to deal with lower energy prices this winter.

          We are forced to live with a greater manufacturing base, and a rebounding real estate market, that is partly due to the enormously successful shale revolution that has added trillions to the economy.

          Luckily a large part of the water used in fracking is recycled. So the water footprint is very low, especially relative to the value added in terms of energy extraction. I believe that the water use is less than one percent of total US consumption – a bargain relative to what we get for that water. BTW, a study recently released showed that treated frack water was perfectly safe for irrigation purposes.

          Have a great day!

          • “Well, Phil, this gas now supplies about 70% of our needs in America,”

            Really Peeny?

            Do you have a reference for that “fact”. I doubt it as it isn’t actually a fact. It’s a Peenyism.

            • Why sure, John. I can certainly provide a reference. You see, this is because I am not as “factually challenged” as you and many of the others in the anti-frack mafia.

              I noticed that you didn’t challenge the authors of the above piece to prove that 18 jobs were lost in agriculture to fracking in Australia. If you are anxious to find the truth, John, why did you not challenge that blatant falsehood?

              You didn’t challenge the authors on their assertion that fracking would have little economic impact, did you John. Nope, this despite the fact that you know for a fact that fracking has had an enormous impact on the US economy which has been demonstrated in many independent reports.

              You didn’t question the delusional claim that fracking would hurt the banking sector, did you John? Did you ask for a reference or some facts about this claim? Did you ask the authors why this would be the case when the industry would obviously need to source large amounts of capital (assuming tests are successful – we’ll know soon!) which would create a bonanza for investment banks (as it has in the US – another FACT, John).

              Did you point out to the authors that fracking has helped bring co2 emissions to a 25 year low in the US, saving lives and creating a massive public health benefit? Did you mention that despite large scale spending on renewables, none of the European countries had come close to achieving this, and many had actually increased emissions despite their large investments in renewables (the UK is better than most, but is helped by gaming the carbon accounting system and switching coal capacity to dirty wood pellets which register as “zero emissions” – what a joke! )

              Did you question the claim that methane emissions make natural gas twice as pollutive as coal? Did you cite the FACTS that independent bodies note that fugitive methane emissions are pegged at around 2% by the IPCC and not the alarming rates that the professors want you to believe? Did you point out that the best work on methane emissions, which actually isolates by source, points to increases in agriculture as the culprit, and not the o&g industry? Did you point out that these studies note that o&g emissions are flat to declining, John?

              Nope. You don’t want the truth. You want to pursue an agenda, but the agenda requires that many facts be ignored.

              BTW, here’s a reference for the 70% claim from the EIA. Thanks for asking! xoxo

              http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=26112

              PS – Pretty crazy that we Americans are still alive despite the fact that our enormous economy runs on fracking, right John?? We live in a country that is beautiful, by any standard, despite fracking. Our air is cleaner than yours, our economy more vibrant, our people do not die in large numbers from energy poverty, we do not face an energy crisis. It’s nice to live in an America fueled by fracking!

            • Spectacular rant there Peeny – rrrrespect!

              It seems the EIA can be a little inconsistent then as here http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=907&t=8 they state very clearly

              “How much shale gas is produced in the United States?

              The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates in the Annual Energy Outlook 2016 (AEO2016), that about 12.3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of dry natural gas was produced directly from shale and tight oil resources in the United States in 2014. This was about 48% of total U.S. dry natural gas production in 2014. In the AEO2016 Reference case, production from shale gas and tight oil resources is projected to grow from about 14 Tcf in 2015 to 29 Tcf in 2040, making up 69% of the 2040 total dry natural gas production.”

              Current US consumption of natural gas is 27 tcf pa (also EIA data). 14 tcf is (as any fule no) just over 50% of that. Not 70% Peeny.

              Interestingly for 29TCF to be 70% total consumption in the USA would need to increase from 27tcf to 41tcf – that’s a 53% increase in consumption. Wow.

              The figures on the page you cite suggest production 53bcf per day which equates to 38% more than the 14tcf the EIA quote above. I am sure you will be able to explain why this difference between the two figures is so massive….

              So the figures from the EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2016 actually suggest that shale gas would only make up *nearly* 70% of dry natural gas production in 14 years time if production more than doubled from current levels and if consumption increased by over 50%

              But it’s OK Peeny – you can always quote the caveat they give “These results may vary from other sources because of the types of wells included in the analysis, update schedules of source databases, and the specific types of natural gas volumes analyzed.” to “excuse” your (and it seems their) cherry picking of data.

            • LOL. And you accuse me of cherry picking? You show statistics that only include dry gas that is produced from shale and tight oil formations. It would specifically exclude all wet gas that is produced and separated into component parts. It would also exclude production of fracked wells not in shale or tight oil formations.

              My information is hardly cherry picked. Facts are facts, John and the EIA has the data to back their headline, “Hydraulically fractured wells provide two-thirds of U.S. natural gas production.”

              Sorry!

            • “It would also exclude production of fracked wells not in shale or tight oil formations.” Well yes Peeny as we are discussing shale gas here I imagine it would LOL.

              It seems you were including non shale gas in your totals then little fella. Oh dear.

              So who was it that said “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Peeny?

            • N Peeny – it’s not complicated – apparently you are trying to include non shale gas – simples innit?

              Bless!

            • “Luckily a large part of the water used in fracking is recycled” total misinformation . Peeny you should be ashamed of yourself, no wait, a total lack of conscience means no shame. You probably want to believe that burying flowback and frack waste deep into the ground equates to recycling. No it doesn’t, not in the least.

            • US shale gas. Economic facts.

              http://www.credoeconomics.com/shale-euphoria-the-boom-and-bust-of-sub-prime-oil-and-natural-gas/

              http://finance.yahoo.com/news/jim-chanos-the-fracking-business-is-a-capital-sinkhole-for-investors-165451020.html

              and still importing daily even though you have rigs sat idle.

              http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=727&t=6

              The reason is obvious.

              Unless fuel prices are sky high then shale is a financial disaster.

              The US dug itself the mother of all holes.

              It thought it could take market share away from OPEC. Particularly dumb thought.

              Well hello reality and basic economics.

              OPEC have the global market all sewn up. Cheap conventional gas flowing for decades and the US keen to buy it.

              Prices were lowered to maintain global domination, closely followed by billions of loss from shale companies.

              The ponzi scheme was bound to be exposed.

            • Nope, John. That’s opinion, not fact. Those are short-sellers who are talking their book. The FACT is that shale oil alone has added 3.5 TRILLION in market cap over the last three years, more than the entire GDP of the UK, and that’s just oil. Gas has also added massive quantities of wealth.

              Hardly a financial disaster, shale has been a financial boon, despite decreasing commodity prices. Almost 70% of gas is now produced by fracking, John, and the US has the lowest gas prices in the world. Talk about Economics 101, that just can’t happen unless shale costs are very low indeed.

              As for shale oil. Well, that has also been an amazing success story. Just read this: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ucenergy/2016/08/31/when-global-oil-prices-tanked-shale-oil-production-didnt-heres-why/#7f25eeb3cae8

            • I see you slip rather easily from your “Shale = financial boom” to “70% of gas from fracking” (30% of which is not from shale as we have already established from EIA figures) to “shale costs”. You really do need to stay consistent if you don’t want to be accused of talking your own book.

              Mind you, your book – “The Wit and Wisdom of Mr Peen” – is a very slim volume indeed isn’t it so it shouldn’t take you too much longer LOL

            • The facts on the decline of rigs relative to price

              https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2016-oil-rigs/

              They have managed to maintain output through cost savings.

              Our mighty North sea industry has done the same cutting production costs in 2016 to under half of the cheapest UK shale costs

              http://oilandgasuk.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Oil-Gas-UK-Economic-Report-2015-low-res.pdf

              No wonder the House of Lords energy select committee took evidence from our North sea representatives and Statoils Vice president.

              They know where the real long term most profitable oil and gas reserves are to be found.

              No wonder BP are keen to double North sea gas output

              http://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/markets/bp-plans-to-double-north-sea-oil-production-by-the-end-of-the-decade/ar-AAlmA0W?li=AA54rU&ocid=mailsignoutmd

              The facts tell us that there will never be a commercial UK shale gas industry.

              On the economic argument alone it loses by a mile.

              Now entering it’s seventh year, the imaginary UK shale gas industry has achieved nothing other than 1 major technical failing and has been brought to it’s knees by the power of local communities.

            • Yes, John, a great idea! Let’ s rely on the House of Lords to decide where businesses should invest their capital. I’m sure that will work out really well. This whole capitalism thing is unproven anyway, am I right? LOL

              The facts tell us that there already is a UK shale gas industry, and it is backed by very deep, deep pockets. The UK shale gas industry is starting to rock and roll my boy. Get on the train or get off the tracks because you’re going to get run down!

              xoxo

            • The Lords I believe are pretty divided on the subject of fracking John – corrupted by some powerful lobbying and deep-pocketed influences. Peeny is not wrong on that score. Whether they will live up to the term ‘nobility’ remains to be seen… much of the Dash for Gas doc is probably relevant here (have you seen it):

            • “The UK shale gas industry is starting to rock and roll my boy. Get on the train or get off the tracks because you’re going to get run down!”

              bwahahahaha 🙂 Funniest thing you’ve EVER posted Peeny! Well done

            • Fracking in the UK. The truth behind the dash for gas.

              A superb documentary with an exceptional cast.

              Well over 30,000 viewings.

            • All aboard the UK Shale Express.

              It travelled between 2 stations.

              It picked up naive investors hard earned cash at the first station then travelled to the second where the money was unloaded and put directly into drilling companies directors bank accounts.

              This video shows the first run with investors money. It travels slowly because of the weight of suckers cash.

              The train doesn’t run anymore.

              A quick look at the ‘Debt Wall’ shows why

              http://www.credoeconomics.com/shale-euphoria-the-boom-and-bust-of-sub-prime-oil-and-natural-gas/

              Luckily the drop in oil price has opened up the door to prove shale is a financial disaster.

              ‘Lucky’ for those who were thinking of investing in UK Shale

              ‘Unlucky’ for those who have already given their money away.

              The train driver has found a new permanent, secure job.

            • Oh Peeny – you couldn’t crush a grape!

              I just exposed your exaggeration. I’d go and hide for a while before you make yourself look too silly. Nighty night!

            • Hey Johnny Boy! Have you seen the just released National Bureau of Economic Research study on oil fracking and the impact to asset pricing and the economy? They found that over the last several years, shale oil alone has generated over 3.5 TRILLION in market cap in the US. That’s more than the ENTIRE UK’s GDP!

              Of course the NBER report doesn’t include the impact of shale gas, so it vastly understates the actual impact.

              It also noted that shale oil created 4.6 million new jobs over a three year period. Again, the number will be much higher if we include gas.

              Of course if we believe Professor Propaganda, and the theoretical low end guesses about economic impact in Scotland, then fracking is just a bunch of nonsense. No economic motive at all. Make sure the Professor Propaganda doesn’t have to see the NBER report! We wouldn’t want any facts infecting his strongly held opinions am I right?? ;o)

            • Er – so do we believe? Two respected academics or an anonymous shill with an agenda . Hmmm – hang on Peeny let me think about that for a moment… OK – I’ll go for the professor not Pinnochio. Sorry.

            • Well Peeny – let’s just say I don’t find your childish ranting (as in the post above) either convincing or attractive. As I quoted one of your countrymen earlier old thing “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

              BTW – have you forgotten that the moderators don’t like you calling people liars on here. And I think doing so anonymously is pretty low to be honest. If you want to question people’s integrity at least have the cojones to do so using your own name or people may think you are a bit of a {edited by the moderator}

            • A valuable resource Ry, 209 A4 pages of referenced information including peer reviewed US official documents, reports papers and scientific journals and journalistic articles. This will take some looking at and following up the sources
              Thanks for the reference, it now sits on my hard drive ready for further reference..
              pennywise just which of the hundreds of peer reviewed documents do you object to? They all seem perfectly sound and science based using scientic methodology, peer reviewed and officially recognised.
              You say that “Not one word of it has ever demonstrated a systemic threat to health from fracking” There seems to be some anomalies in terminology with that statement, just for clarity you understand, “not one word” There are 209 pages with references on almost every page, surely there must be many words, do you object to them all or just a few of them? “has ever demonstrated” well the original compendium was produced in 2014, since updated to the fourth issue here referred to, how does that relate to the phrase “has ever?” does that refer to every word of every issue or back in time perhaps? “threat to health from fracking” The whole document details such evidence from start to finish, and yet you state that “not one word of it has ever demonstrated a systemic threat to health from fracking” It is called the COMPENDIUM OF SCIENTIFIC, MEDICAL, AND MEDIA FINDINGS DEMONSTRATING RISKS AND HARMS OF FRACKING (UNCONVENTIONAL GAS AND OIL EXTRACTION). (capitalisation theirs)
              Perhaps rather than generising and objecting to every word, we might be edified if you could define exactly which of the documents mentioned fail to document scientific, medical, and media findings demonstrating risks and harm from fracking?

            • Let me do some more “generising” Phil. As the ASA, the EPA, the Royal Academy, and so many others have found, there is nothing in any of the studies within the Compendium that would allow one to come to the conclusion that fracking is a systemic threat to human health.

              You are free to think that there is (but we all understand where you set the bar for scientific proof!), but the authorities have come to a far different conclusion! ;o)

            • Thank you, Phil. Please reference the EPA report, the Royal Sciences report, the Environmental Agency Report, the Public Health England report, the University of Cincinatti Report, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission Report, the PA DEP report, and many more. None of these are partisan reports, mind you.

            • A valuable resource to everyone but those grounded in scientific method apparently. Why did the EPA not cite any of the 900 reports in making a statement that fracking was a systemic danger, Phil?

            • ‘Generalising’ of course. What you say now is not the same, now you are saying the data from these reports was not referred to in your unreferenced named body dropping, that is a far cry from being in any way incorrect or inappropriate, it just means that this data is too volatile for the industry and its protectors to risk including, it doesnt serve to include contrary data.
              OK lets break this down into easy steps shall we? First and foremost you often write somewhat accusingly of of ‘quack science’ and ‘Pseudo science’ you are aware. Aren’t you that the term “Quackery” which derives from the word quacksalver meaning someone who boasts about his salves, ie medication rubs, is a term is misused to refer to other things, such as your use regarding science, however the term is simply not applicable. The term pseudo derives from Karl Popper and is from the Greek, combining form of pseudḗs false, pseûdos falsehood. Karl Popper first attempted to define conventional scientific theory and it is now widely admitted that there is no fixed boundary since the development of quantum physics which tends to throw all the parameters back up into the air again and again, as we discover more about the reality, old science bows to newer discoveries.
              So quack science doesn’t exist, pseudo science is at the very least inexact and vague.
              OK, we get to scientific method and practice,
              i have all ready written in some detail, but actually foreshortened explanation of the scientific methodology, you seem to have failed to take that into account. I was involved professionally in that very process and it was always drummed into us never to pre judge or post judge the statistical probability as a better testing and data testing process can often reverse the statistical trend and entirely change the report.
              In the instance of testing and data collection from conventional and unconventional fracking, oil and gas extraction and recently deep coal gassification, Collection of data is poor and often absent in spite of the millions of drill sites in USA and elsewhere, since it is often carried out by the very people that are charged with making a well profitable, self regulation is all very well if you are dealing with honourable people, but hopelessly inadequate if not. We have still yet to see one example of the promised gold standard regulations even existing, yet alone being operated.
              Then we get to health issues, these medical concerns, i looked, are written by eminent doctors and physicians, hardly the denigrated anti fracking mafia you so insultingly refer to, and as i am not qualified to discern the validity of these and i cannot comment, but equally pennywise, nor can you. I have operated and understood the scientific method and it gives nothing but statistical probabilities, no cut and dried conclusion, those are for the great ill informed public and are rarely if ever true. Without detailing those statistical probabilities no flat conclusion one way or the other can be valid, To pre and post judging papers and reports is un-scientific, your favourite phrase, redacting papers and reports is criminally dishonest. Ignoring reports that are contrary to your pre or post judgement is simply fundamentally dishonest and therefore invalid.
              Perhaps you could emerge from your blanket denial and produce precisely which of these documents you say do not prove that health issues are created by oil and gas extraction and conventional and unconventional fracking. Not just a vague offhand reference, produce detail please.
              Before you go off on a scientific method jag diversion i would remind you that i have worked within the parameters of the scientific methodology and i am well grounded in its precepts and i see nothing untoward in any of these reports except perhaps that it is ignored for political reasons. Reliable collection of data was and is stifled by the inability of the data collection operatives to carry out a simple tasks. One could also wonder about political and corporate restrictions, obfuscation and denial, operational expediency, lack of on site independent monitoring, threats to jobs and fear of being victimised and vilified and funding withdrawn arbitrarily, non disclosure agreements,intimidation and legal threats using powerful lawyers to prevent objection becoming public and last but not least, government policy overturning planning and public opinion.
              And then of course forums like this, where it seems any effort to call a halt before this country enters the most disastrous environmental operations en mas are pounced upon with corporate glee with the intention of drowning out dissent with intimidation and personal abuse, now hopefully that will change.

      • “This is nothing more than a cheap propaganda piece” That’s an admission peeny! Thanks for being honest.

        “How can anyone who writes garbage like this be taken seriously?” i agree peeny, so why did you write it? “how the fracking industry (there is no such a thing, btw)” No such thing peeny? Then pray what are all those pads in USA Canada, Australia and UK then? Scottish mist? Marsh gas perhaps? Maybe they are emergency landing pads for Sanity Clause? And where do you get all that gas and pollution from? Do you manufacture it personally? Are we back to flatulent fracking industry again?

        “The industry has been a financial success of almost unimaginable proportion since its inception” i thought you said there was no such thing? Is there or isn’t there? “How do you rectify (rectify? i think you possibly mean “reconcile”, you do realise that rectify reverses the meaning don’t you?) this FACT with your notion that this is a boom and bust industry?” FRACTS again peeny? How do you reconcile it? “Professor Propaganda” is this another hero of your peeny? Sounds right up your alley! Isnt inception a film about false dreams? Yes, i can see why that is appropriate. Fracking is a false dream, even you dont believe its true?

        “The study also noted that the energy industry had created massive employment in Australia. Sorry to inject FACTS into the discussion. I am such a party pooper!” FRACTS again? Massive employment? You employ massives? Would it not be better to employ humans, but, oh yes, sorry, they refuse to work for you don’t they? And those that do get sick very quickly, look it up, still, many more sheeple in Australia arent there? A bunch of Kangaroos too! Some of them are still alive, coughing up blood because of the pollution from fracking, but still alive anyway just.
        Its not that you are a party pooper peeny, its that your industry poops in, on and under every one else’s party in the process.

        “I could go on and on, but it’s hardly worth it. This is just a hatchet job” Glad to see you are admitting it. I agree peeny your post is a hatchet job, but that is what you are paid for i suppose, how sad is that?

        “None of it has basis in fact” More admissions, fantastic peeny you are learning!

        “It is simply more hyperbole from the anti-fact, anti-frack mafia. Business as usual”

        “Anti – fact anti-fracking Mafia”, this is an old one peeny, i told you about this before, i suggest you do not call people criminally organised Sicilian cocaine peddlers without legal advice and proof? Otherwise you might wake up with the head of that high horse you like to ride on in bed with you…..just a cinematic allusion of course, nothing to worry about…….is there?
        Have a nice day

        • Phil, fracking isn’t an industry, it is a technology. The oil and gas companies form an industry. Comprendez?

          You can play all the games you want Phil, but you spout nothing but hot air. The article calls the industry boom and bust and cites 60 companies going bust as evidence. Get real. What utter trash. The National Bureau of Economic Research just came out with a report that noted that fracking technology had added 3.5 Trillion in value to the market. That doesn’t count all of the indirect impact to manufacturing and services industries and it doesn’t count all of the jobs added.

          So while the professors theorize on the impact to the economy, based on the low end of some other theorizing, we have FACTS in the US about exactly how impactful the shale revolution can be on an economy.

          You realize that you have lost. that is why you have resorted to childish games. I get it Phil.

          • Peeny – one day you will do some research and start to understand that most reputable sources (and I don’t include you there, as reputable sources tend not to be anonymous or post simultaneously from multiple accounts like you do) agree that costs in the UK will be significantly higher than in the USA.

            Until that penny drops I guess we’ll just have to listen to your barking at the moon like this.

            Pip! Pip!

            • How about the reputable sources who are actually risking capital to develop onshore gas resources in the UK, rather than playing armchair quarterback, John? I would think that these sources would be more reputable and certainly better informed than your “experts.” ;o)

            • ‘How about the reputable sources who are actually risking capital to develop onshore gas resources in the UK’

              Remember this just a few short weeks ago. You should. It’s very important.

              Another witness to the committee, Tor Martin Anfinnsen, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Trading, Statoil, said his company had interests in shale but only in the US. He explained why:

              “We had a look at the UK sometime back as part of a global survey with Chesapeake, of the US, but we decided against going into the UK.

              “We believed we were operating in a more prolific basin in US than what the UK could offer. But I think it was primarily it was what we call the above ground risk, not so much government policy but it’s a fairly densely populated country this and there have been obstacles, if you will, to our activities in the Marcellus field in the US as well and we thought they may be even tougher to overcome here.”

              Asked by Lord Livermore if he expected a situation where he would reconsider that decision, Tor Martin Anfinnsen said:

              “You can never say never but I don’t expect that. For us, it’s much more cost efficient, at least based on our own calculations, to develop offshore fields, our offshore Norway assets, and bring that gas into the UK by pipeline.”

              The thing is, Norway know every single thing there is to know about the UK energy market

              They sell the UK nearly 80% of it’s imported piped gas.

              They like making money off oil and gas and they are very good at it.

              They have done their homework. They employed one of the largest fracking companies in the US to study UK shale.

              So who do you listen to?

              Global experts advising North sea giants who already supply the UK or

              an exploratory drilling company who could not afford, or who did not think it is necessary to carry out a 3D survey thus causing 2 earthquakes. The same company who then pretends to have nothing to do with the quakes, who then questions who is responsible for cement bond logs and later finds out the cement job was inadequate at certain levels. The same company who uses wells that BP have drilled and dismissed.

              Take your factual pick.

              Personally I am backing the Vice president of Statoil and Chesapeakes advice.

            • That’s what makes a market, right John? Opinions are like a$*holes, everyone’s got one. Centrica happens to think that they can make excellent returns in UK onshore gas. Total does as well. So do Cuadrilla and Igas and Ineos.

              You don’t fully comprehend the investment options that Statoil had at its disposal. It sounds like they had a great opportunity elsewhere. Good for them. They thought they could earn better returns in the US. Centrica and Ineos see it differently. That’s what makes markets, John, different opinions! Best of luck!

          • If you don’t like playing games peeny you should not descend upon every PF posts with multiple anonymous accounts simply to drown out and childishly contradict everything that is said with such childish glee. You get everything you deserve and if I have to descend to your level to play you at your own game, then I will. I would rather discuss things like an adult but you and your alt egos are simply not capable of it.
            I will play you at your own game peeny and I have and will out play you every time. Its a bit like playing my grand children at chess, though I tend to let them win to build up their confidence and skill.
            You however I will trounce and checkmate every time, its almost too easy and kinda fun too in a cruel sort of way.
            When you stop playing childish games I will too, but I see no evidence you will do that at all.
            There, now you have it.

            • Phil, you lose to me all the time, but that’s okay. It’s not about you vs. me, it’s about the facts. My side owns them, your side depends on hyperbole and scaremongering. Facts are anathema to the dour brigade of anti-frack mafia.

              You’ve been trying for weeks to convince everyone that methane is the reason why we should reject shale gas, despite the fact that you don’t have anything to stand on other than old studies that can draw no causal relationships. Perhaps you caught the latest study that came out, summed up in the left-leaning Washington Post:

              “But without denying that there may be some growth in methane emissions from global oil and gas, the new study does not point the finger there. “A substantial contribution of U.S. shale gas industry to the recent methane atmospheric increase seems unlikely,” it concludes. Rather, it notes that two thirds of the world’s methane releases come from the tropics, not the temperate latitudes, leading the researchers to single out the agricultural sector as a more likely cause of the growth — a conclusion that may prove contentious, as this remains a matter of major debate.”

              This corroborates well with other work done recently which has pointed to declines in methane release from gas operations. Gas operators are obviously anxious to use any new technology that can save them money and keep methane in the system.

              So take note. Gas production up massively over the last five years. Methane emissions overall from the industry are flat to down over that time frame. Thus the rate of fugitive emissions is declining.

              Checkmate.

            • When read your rants Peeny, I have this vision of the loud brash bullly kid in the playground, who nobody likes, shouting at the top of his voice that he wins all the games even though he never actually ever gets picked for a team.

              As to ” it’s about the facts. My side owns them” – In case you didn’t realise Peeny nobody “owns” facts. They have an objective existence. I realise your side do pay a lot of money to PR companies in their efforts to present convenient viewpoints as “facts” but when you co-opt a fact and twist it to your own uses it becomes at best an opinion and worst a lie. You can’t own the truth Peeny – even the most basic study of epistemology will teach you that. Start with Plato and move on from there. Good luck!

            • LOL, John. If that’s the kind of rationale you need to keep [edited by moderator] going, then keep it up.

              You never got back to me on whether you support the various “factual” statements made by the anti-frack brigade, such as:

              Fracking causes cancer
              Fracking causes premature births
              Fracking is a systemic threat to water supplies
              Fracking will cause parts of the UK to fall off into the ocean

              Do you stand behind your brethren in making these statements, John? Or not? What’s it going to be?

              Do you agree with Prof. Propaganda that fracking caused the loss of 18 jobs in Australian agriculture for every 10 jobs gained?

              How ’bout it Johnny-Boy? What say you???

            • LOL

              I see your straw man production line only has a limited range of product Peeny. I suppose as it’s obviously a product of your imagination that’s understandable though.

              Actually the hypotheses about cancer, premature births etc are made not by “the anti-frack brigade” but by qualified academics. I know they scare the crap out you and your pals so you have to find ways of trying to debunk them. Misrepresenting what has been said and how is merely a sign of how desperate you are though.

              Since you ask (again yawn), I will reiterate that I find them very interesting and worthy of further investigation, and they are grounds enough to suggest that erring on the side of caution is sensible in policy making.

              If I were you I’m sure I’d be trying to discredit them too as they really hurt your side’s arguments. I think I’d do less ranting and insulting along the way though Peeny – that way people might take you a bit more seriously. Have the mods been in touch about you calling their guest authors liars yet by the way? Perhaps they are having a Christmas lunch and haven’t quite got round to it yet?

              Now then, why not ask me about things I have said, or opinions I have expressed. That’s the way grown-ups have conversations 🙂

              Mind you as we have been over this ground SO many times before I would suggest that you enrol in some remedial level lessons in how to read (and act on) a forum first.

            • “Actually the hypotheses about cancer, premature births etc are made not by “the anti-frack brigade” but by qualified academics.”

              They aren’t qualified if they make those statements without backing them up with facts. Since they haven’t been backed up by facts, the people making them (no matter who they are) are obviously not qualified, nor are they to be heeded at all. Just like Professor Propaganda who wrote the above piece. ;o)

              Caution is always advised in policy making around any industry. The o&g industry is no different.

              One more note, Johnny. If you are so interested that I “enrol” in remedial lessons in how to read, you might “enrol” in remedial lessons on how to spell. It’s “enroll” not “enrol” boy genius! LOL ;o)

            • Hey John, just answer this question honestly (you never answer any questions, so I’m not holding my breath). Do you receive any money from organizations sponsored by Russian interests? Be honest now. Thanks!

            • First point re – “enrol / enroll” just shows how parochial your knowledge base really is Peeny http://grammarist.com/spelling/enrol-enroll/ Boy genius Haha LOL Oops!

              Second question “Do you receive any money from organizations sponsored by Russian interests? Be honest now. Thanks!”

              Not to my knowledge Peeny, although I do have a commercial interest in a company in Estonia – Holy crap! I must be a capitalist!

              How about you – do you get any payments from Russia. Other fracking investors do – like Lord Browne for example. Don’t be shy – ‘fess up!

              Honestly though I do think your insinuations are getting a bit silly now.

              And by the way you don’t get to decide whether academics are qualified because you don’t like what they say. Didn’t anybody tell you?

            • I have a suggestion, we all see that posts from the pro fracking agitators consist mainly of multiple anonymous personal attacks and barbs that waste time and are perhaps deliberate efforts to drown out discussion and reduce everything to personal remarks. This wastes time, and reduces any discussion to mere ‘i said you said’ diversion.

              What i propose is that if any post pro or anti contains any personal remark of any kind, misuse of names or derogatory terminology, that it should simply be ignored and whatever post is important to the subject be concentrated on as the main issue. I would include ‘shouting’ in that, ie capital letters as a form of emphasis, that is bullying and aggressive and i would suggest any post containing capitalization of words is simply passed over and the subject returned to the issue at hand.

              i know we have all been drawn into this, but i think it is a strategy used by the pro frackers to distort and reduce the conversation to invective. Perhaps that could be refined a little to ignore triumphalism and even direst contradiction, such as no, wrong, rubbish etc?
              So, perhaps my New Years Resolution is starting early, and that is never to answer or refer to emotive and personalized attacks or anything contained in that particular post, misuse of usernames and capitalization and any post containing those elements simply passed over and ignored? I’m not saying i have not been guilty of this myself, but i have always felt this is ignoring the issue and i withdrew for a while and got drawn back in. i am just thinking that if we all follow this, then these pages will be less misused by agitators and we will be less drawn into meaningless tit for tat?

              Paul, i dont want to step on your toes, maybe you have a different view, please tell me if that is viewed as anything that is moderated all ready?

              Tell me what you think?

            • When moderating comments, I look to remove most personal attacks and derogatory remarks. However, I try and keep as light a touch as possible, so as to allow a free flow of conversation. You can see full details of our House Rules on comments here

            • “The influential British Infrastructure Group said the push towards green energy and chronic mismanagement of the system had left the energy sector in ‘crisis’.
              Its members, led by former Cabinet minister Grant Shapps, warned it was even possible that British industry could face a return to the three-day week because of a lack of electricity at peak times.:”

              Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4046600/Now-power-firms-raise-bills-30-year-prevent-blackouts-MPs-suggest-industry-return-three-day-week-lack-electricity.html#ixzz4TI8dTaV4
              Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

            • Peeny you won’t know who ex cabinet minister Grant Schapp is will you? To help you here is a quote from the Wikipedia page on him

              “In February 2015 he told LBC Radio presenter Shelagh Fogarty, “Let me get this absolutely clear…I don’t have a second job and have never had a second job while being an MP. End of story.” In March 2015 Shapps admitted to having had a second job whilst being an MP and practising business under a pseudonym. In his admission he stated that he had ‘over-firmly denied’ having a second job.”

              I really wouldn’t rely on scaremongering from that source writing in the Daily Heil to try to persuade anybody that follows the real news over here in the UK old boy!

            • You still comfortable that the nation isn’t even close to crisis, John?

              “The study says the National Grid’s safety buffer – the amount of spare capacity it has in the system to cope with surges in demand – has shrunk to 0.1 per cent this winter. This is down from about 17 per cent in winter 2011-12.
              The report warns there ‘is a sustained danger of intermittent blackouts for the foreseeable future, thanks to dwindling base capacity and freak weather events’. And it says that, by next winter, the lights could go out. The bill for keeping them on could be an extra £30 a year per family by 2020, in addition to current trends for price rises.
              The report points much of the blame at green policies and carbon reduction targets which led to a focus on renewable energy and the closure of coal-fired power stations.
              Mr Shapps said: ‘It is clear that a perfect coincidence of numerous policies designed to reduce Britain’s carbon dioxide emissions has had the unintended effect of hollowing out the reliability of the electricity generating sector.’
              He added: ‘Current projections place the cost of covering potential shortfalls at well over a billion pounds by 2020-21. With top officials suggesting candidly that some measure of energy austerity might be implemented to save costs, British energy policy will soon be, if it is not already, in crisis.’
              This winter, National Grid will pay around £122.4million for so-called emergency power – which is purchased from suppliers who do not trade in the normal energy market.
              The report says this is 800 times the average wholesale price for 2015 and four times the cost of last year’s emergency reserves. The report goes on: ‘While no precise projection can be made of costs in the future, if this trend were to continue year-on-year, by 2020-21 National Grid estimates that it could be spending nearly one and a half billion pounds procuring emergency power.’
              It warns: ‘Currently, the British electricity network is going backwards. Capacity margins are so tight that National Grid’s emergency power deals have become the norm.

              Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4046600/Now-power-firms-raise-bills-30-year-prevent-blackouts-MPs-suggest-industry-return-three-day-week-lack-electricity.html#ixzz4TIpzM2l5

            • I’d prefer you to say “your nation” than “the nation” Peeny – you make it sound as though you belong it to it or have a stake in it , which we know you don’t.

              No need to copy huge screeds of twad from the Daily Heil though – we can all read and follow links on here you know.

              Thankfully, as your anonymous pals at Backing Fracking were ranting only today, we are still importing gas from Russia amongst other places to keep us safe and warm. 11.2 bcm of gas a year to the UK apparently.

              You know, maybe we should boycott the people who facilitate that deal with Putin Peeny – what you think? I know you hate those Ruskies with a passion don’t you? Of course that would mean boycotting, er hang on, Centrica. And it would mean boycotting PEDL 165 in which they have a large interest. So boycotting Cuadrilla too then.What do you reckon to that old boy? Should we give it a go?

              And goodness – if things get tight we may even have to consider switching off interconnectors exporting our power to Ireland and continental Europe! That’d be a thing now wouldn’t it Peeny?

              Have you worked out why we don’t rate of your scare-mongering mate Mr Shapps over here yet? Didn’t you know he’s rather famous for using multiple aliases (just like you) before you posted that? I bet you think that quite normal though don’t you ? LOL

              And let’s be absolutely clear on one thing – the successive governments’ mismanagement of energy policy is what lies at the root of any issues here and UK fracking is in no position to start having even the minimal impact it might have for a good 10-15 years. Scaremongering about this year or next year to pump fracking is pretty ridiculous, but I guess it’s all you’ve got. You don’t have an Auntie Elsie by any chance do you?

            • And of course you forgot to mention that

              “A spokesman for the National Grid said the 0.1 per cent figure was taken from a report published in July. He added: ‘Our Winter Outlook report in October put the surplus margin for this winter at 6.6 per cent.”

              Naughty Peeny!

            • It’s the mildest winter I’ve ever experienced btw. Gas / elec consumption must be waaay down. Fuel poverty? Don’t think so.

            • And Peeny – why have you blocked me on Facebook with your Jim Georges ID? I can still see what you post you know 🙂 x

            • But honestly to claim about gas prices coming down

              “It’s a very valid and logical argument, which is why John Hobson hates it so much. In the States, we sometimes have massive differentials based on supply coming on in one part of the country. If enough gas were brought on, the UK might see gas prices 10-20% lower than what Europe pays for imported gas.”

              as you just did on Backing Fracking’s hugely popular (300 likes) Facebook page, is sheer idiocy when you think about the small percentage of the EU gas market that UK shale (even at peak) could provide. I think you’d say it was a supply and demand argument Jim. Wouldn’t you?

              It’s economics Jim, but not as you know it.

        • LOL. Phil, using 10,000 words, won’t validate your viewpoint. The EPA disagrees with you. The ASA disagrees with you. The only one I know who agrees with “Phil’s” interpretation of the scientific evidence is Phil. ;o) The mainstream has passed you by my man.

          • This is an ancient post pennywise, are you reduced to licking old wounds? How many words? You exaggerate. The simple truth of the matter is that the EPA does not include data that contradicts its political agenda, the ASA rejected all the data that did not agree with its biased opinion, that is fraud. You have an unfortunate habit of holding up official organisations as some sort of paragons of virtue and incontrovertible engines of truth, but if you work with these and other organisations, as I have, you quickly realise that they are little more than official fronts for political agendas, often funded and set up by the very people who wish to have only one point of view through to the public, all else is squashed redacted or ignored, again, that is fraud. Try not to be so dazzled, they are only people with jobs and pensions and they want to keep it that way, so they do as they are told. None of this is “my” data pennywise the fact that it contradicts your opinion is not my doing, its just unfortunate for your agenda that they are contrary to your agenda.
            You do not demonstrate that you you have the slightest understanding of the scientific method in these posts, you do not operate it and you never have. The scientific method remains the same there is no “mainstream” that only seems to exist in your imagination. Your post simply betrays biased opinion, that is not in the slightest bit scientific, its just seeking to jam the facts into your narrow confines of what represents your view as only you see it.. Prove one peer reviewed document to be untrue, in detail on here for everyone to see and we shall see if you are capable of anything other than unsubstantiated sweeping generalisations. How many words was that?

  2. Water is the most essential of all commodities and over and again we see a cavalier approach to its use and exploitation in this country with many small and conglom business interests now rising up like a multi headed hydra to profiteer upon the back of it, and it is frightening if you take a look at this growth in England alone. I have and see an industry poised and about to profiteer from mass pollution from fracking ready and waiting to make water as rare as caviar or truffle with prices twice as high.

    All this is based upon findings in the US, where water pollution is the biggest threat to farmers and native Indian reserves etc…coming here soon as a method of the treasury as with housing, carving up one of the basic human needs and selling it off to shareholders to pull in tax and dividends to pay for government as in the US where congloms make policy and people imagine they have democracy.

    Here are a few findings of how badly damaged water is due to drilling across the states, and it is essential that everyone wakes up to the fact that your water is not safe now with business interests shoving a finger in the profitable pie of our most basic resource already:-
    newsdeeply.com/water/articles/2016/03/23/protecting aquifers
    shows dozens of aquifers at risk from pollution

    usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/05/ 95% of oil and gas shales underlie drinking water aquifers

    theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2463567/fracking
    oil pollution associated with groundwater

    faculty.ksu.edu.sa/6887/Interesting papers/Treatment…
    used motor oil also may seep into groundwater

    commondreams.org/news/2016/08/31/california-and-epa-poised…Protecting Aquifers From Oil Industry Pollution – Water Deeply This may be one of dozens of aquifers at risk from potential pollution. … Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources … the fate of underground
    water …thinkprogress.org/a-third-of-californias-deep-groundwater-a…
    Oil and gas industry pumping more toxic waste into drinking …
    Oil and gas industry pumping more toxic waste into … widespread glyphosate
    contamination of the … into federally protected underground aquifers. …
    naturalnews.com/049089_fracking_wastewater_injection_aqui…
    New Fears Over Fracking Groundwater Contamination
    … raising new concerns about the contamination … as having arisen from
    an underground aquifer that was set … 40 conventional oil and gas wells
    groundwater.org/get_informed/groundwater/contamination.html

    UK brass standard regs will not protect us from fracking pollution as none of those currently regulated for are based upon any expertise in the area of fracking, and there is NO MAP in the UK of where underground waterways flow, interconnect or branch off. Indeed there are still many underground caverns and waterways as yet undiscovered therefore to start fracking and damage water pathways currently invisible, is the biggest act of heinous vandalism any government could inflict upon the national interest.

    • Agreed, water and the need to protect and conserve it is not only an important human right but it is rapidly becoming a huge issue globally. Of the millions of gallons that goes into fracking – for every single one of the thousands of drillings proposed – not a single gallon can be safely returned to the natural cycle. Fracking is simply insane and irresponsible for that reason alone (not to mention the impacts on air, soil, roads and climate change).

  3. We already know gas polluted water in Pickering and in 1974 British Gas had to shut down its exploitation of the underground drilling, and much waste was shipped away and we know not where. We already have an underground gasification of water in North Yorkshire and yet no regs refer to measures to ameliorate this, or to avoid further damage or clean up from this era.
    People in N Yorks and elsewhere may already be getting methane in their water supply and yet no one is measuring how much and telling how far this will get worse once fracking begins.

    • Mar G – here you go again. You know very well the technical background behind the “Pickering issue” you refer to. It is not an issue. The fractured limestone reservoir watered out, the gas could not flow as the head from the water killed it, the project became none commercial, the water you refer to came from around 6,000 ft and had a salinity greater than the North Sea and could only ever be used for agriculture or potable water with desalination. It would be a lot cheaper to desalinate sea water would it not? And please explain how people in N Yorks are getting methane in their water supply? I douby N. Yorks takes its water from 6,000ft and desalinates it? Smacks a bit of whales exploding due to offshore earthquakes and the oil industry causing whales to gulp huge volumes of methane from leaking wells…. Can they ignite their tap water? If they have methane in their tap water it is nothing to do with the O & G industry. But perhaps they should abandon their water wells and get mains water?

    • I forgot to add that I don’t expect a reply, I know I am not on your Xmas card list, and I know that you have problems with facts sometimes.

  4. Nearly fell asleep reading that. Nothing new and all points raised can be argued against.
    Doesn’t look like anything happening till 2017 so have a happy Xmas and a New Year everyone and we will resume our war of words in due course 🙂

    • ‘Doesn’t look like anything happening till 2017’

      Just a quick reminder of how much shale gas was produced in 2016……..None
      Just a quick reminder of how much shale gas was produced in 2015……..None
      Just a quick reminder of how much shale gas was produced in 2014……..None
      Just a quick reminder of how much shale gas was produced in 2013……..None
      Just a quick reminder of how much shale gas was produced in 2012……..None
      Just a quick reminder of how much shale gas was produced in 2011……..A little bit although it didn’t go well if I recall
      Just a quick reminder of how much shale gas was produced in 2010 when first applications appeared……………..None

      Can you spot the trend?

      Okay for the Directors buying their Christmas goodies with other peoples money

      Not so good for those who have watched their money make others rich.

      • Of course as the Directors tuck into their Christmas dinners, kindly paid for by the unwise investor, they now have that little niggling, incy wincy worry of whether or not they are actually in possession of a valid PEDL.

        Best put one on your Santa’s list as it is unlikely you will find one in a Christmas cracker

  5. Good article Ruth..it covers most of the problems faced in the Fylde …in particular the effects on farming and tourism. Re tax…. Cuadrillas parent company is partially Australia and partially funded by an offshore company based in the Camen Islands…so not much tax there then….

  6. If the findings of EPA were so damning and vindicative as suggested by the anti fracking brigades why the EPA the US GOVERNMENT the lawyers haven’t ban fracking in the US.
    The matter of fact is that all issues in only several cases of water contamination were individual incidence that were due to bad behavior of individual company that don’t follow rules and make short cut. It is not systemic problem or issue that the anti frackers try to hoodwink everyone into believing.

    • TW – don’t do a Peeny – you are better than that 🙂

      The “anti frackers” are not trying to hoodwink anyone in to believing that water contamination is “a systemic problem or issue”

      The original draft of the EPA report suggested that the problem was not “systemic”, and this was latched onto by your pals. Sadly for them it transpired that the Science Advisory Board of the EPA said this conclusion was not supported by the data provided. Now we have this new version which no longer makes such a claim.

      So you see TW – you are setting up a Penny style straw man here – it is not the anti-frackers who are trying to hoodwink people – it was the pro-frackers. (But they got caught out).

      Too funny!

      As to “why the EPA the US GOVERNMENT the lawyers haven’t ban fracking in the US.” – Well there’s still time, but I suppose with Trump and the the tiller and Tillerson about to play his trumps it’s rather unlikely that any sane policy will have traction for 5 years.

    • Please see my link just above TW. The truth has taken a long time to come out. There are hundreds of water pollution cases, most of them buried behind non-disclosure agreements and legal gagging orders after financial inducements offered to landholders. Remember too that many of the land-title holders in the States get the mineral rights, so, big bucks for a drilling deal (not the case here unless the primary owner is landed gentry, dutchy or CofE) … and they will keep quiet especially if they can afford to live elsewhere. Keeping quiet is usually part of the deal in fact.

      Officially the impacts are still hedged behind non-specific terminology because no-one can afford to be found liable for claims of incalculable size (e.g. of restoring a groundwater aquifer – probably impossible), and the EPA even runs the risk of being sued for being neglectful of due diligence – but, as I said, they’ve now probably got nothing left to lose. The industry is offered a kind of shield by the strategic policies of national energy independence/security, which is also the strategy that has been pushed for here. The EA would simply have to toe the line.

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