Tributes paid to shale gas commentator, Nick Grealy, who died yesterday

Nick Grealy

Nick Grealy in Dimock, Pennsylvania. Photo: @ReImagineGas

Nick Grealy, the pro-fracking commentator and journalist, died yesterday aged 64. He had been diagnosed last year with brain, lung and pancreatic cancers.

Mr Grealy ran the No Hot Air website and tweeted under @ReImagineGas.

He argued on his website:

“I’ve been talking about shale gas for over eight years. It’s low carbon, cheap and proven: What are we waiting for”.

His final tweet was from hospital last Thursday when he commented on an article predicting a boom in UK shale gas.

A would-be shale gas operator, Nick Grealy applied for three exploration licences in 2014 in London through the company, London Local Energy. He was unsuccessful but continued making the case for shale gas exploration under the capital.

He leaves his wife and two children.


The site of a 1911 oil discovery in Willesden. Nick Grealy said last year: “We think it is morally indefensible to refuse to even explore for oil and gas resources under London“. Photo: R Sones [CC BY-SA2.0 ( , via Wikimedia Commons

“Passionate proselytiser”

Graham Dean, of Reach Coal Seam Gas, often shared conference platforms with Nick Grealy. He said:

“He was a passionate proselytiser for shale gas and was one of the earliest to see the potential for shale gas in this country.”

The industry organisation, UK Onshore Oil and Gas, said this morning:

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Nick Grealy.

“He was a force to be reckoned with, throwing himself into his work with energy and enthusiasm, even as he battled illness. Many of you will know him for his presence online, as Nick as an ardent supporter of the UK’s shale gas industry throughout his life, and one of the first to see its potential.

“We will always remember Nick for his sharp wit and passion, and at this sad time send our condolences to his wife and two children”.

Paul Mobbs, of Mobss’ Environmental Investigations and Research, said:

“He was one of the few knowledgeable pro-frackers willing to have a stand-up argument in public. Now pro-frackers will only “debate” on their own PR-media-managed terms.”

Helen Robertson, managing editor of Petroleum Economist, said:

“Whether you agreed with @ReImagineGas or not, he certainly got people’s attention and passionately believed in his cause.”

Regular speaker and commentator

Nick Grealy was born in Ireland and grew up in New York, where his father was a TV reporter for Irish Television.

During his time at university in New York, he went to France and became a life-long Francophile. He met his wife, a nurse, while working as a gas trader for the NHS. They lived in Kingston-upon-Thames.

During his life he had had a serious car accident which left him with a metal plate in his head.  He also had a heart condition and had survived prostate cancer.

Nick Grealy was a regular speaker at conferences about UK shale gas and once remarked that the only money being made was by event organisers. He gave a presentation recently at the Petroleum Society of Great Britain Prospex 2017 exhibition and conference in London.

He often contributed to comments and pieces on DrillOrDrop. He was always generous with his time and challenging in his criticism.

Pro-fracking web publisher bids for three London drilling licences (28/10/2014)

Thoughts of a would-be fracker (20/2/2015)

Guest Post: Why not look for shale gas under London (15/2/2017)

14 replies »

  1. My thoughts and wishes go out to Nick Grealy’s family and friends.
    Differences of opinion mean nothing in such times.
    Goodby Nick Grealy.

  2. I’m very sorry to hear about Nick’s passing. I came to know of him through my different opinion on fracking. He spoke vehemently and that’s what I respected him for.

  3. Very sad news indeed. Yet another of my friends taken by pancreatic cancer – about which little progress has been made for decades.

  4. Although Nick and I had a few run ins , I’m sorry to hear that he has passed away , condolences to his family and loved ones . RIP Nick , there’s no Fracking in Heaven.

  5. My thougjt are with his family. He was very passionate about the cause. Thank you Nick for your psssionate and pioneer contributions to this debate. Farewell Nick Grealy.

    • Martin Porter.
      I bet ya most people are in it for the money whether it is fracking or renewables or environment. We all need to make a living from our professional job. It is a little bit hypocrites to think that the renewables and eco crusaders have higher moral grounds on earning a living.
      Each time I go to an eco friendly or organic shop or renewables power electricity I alway get yhe same answer”Our price is higher than other products because we need to generate a PROFIT to keep the business going.”

  6. I appreciated Nick for his objectivity and independence, and for the thoughtful perspectives he brought to the table. So very sad to hear of his passing. I want his family to know that he garnered a lot of respect in this community and that his efforts made a difference. The success of fracking in the UK this year and going forward is in no small part due to the efforts of Mr. Nick Grealy. Good bye my friend.

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