Politics

Ministers questioned on oil drilling risks and job estimates

Fracking Week in Parliament

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The SNP MP, Drew Hendry, asked the government last week about the environmental risks of oil drilling in south east England.

The area has seen high-profile oil exploration recently at sites at Broadford Bridge and Lidsey in West Sussex and Brockham and Horse Hill in Surrey. Angus Energy is expected to begin flow testing soon at the former Cuadrilla site at Balcombe in West Sussex.

In a written question, Mr Hendry (above left), the SNP energy spokesman asked what recent risk assessments had there been for shale oil exploration.

The Environment Minister, Therese Coffey (second left), said the onshore oil and gas risks had been assessed by the Environment Agency. Operators must apply for environmental permits, planning permission and hold a Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL), she said.

“The Environment Agency will only grant permits if it is satisfied that drilling will be carried out in a way that protects people and the environment. The permits place legally binding conditions on how drilling is carried out to protect groundwater, surface water and air quality and to ensure the safe storage, management and disposal of waste.”

Evidence for shale gas jobs

The Green Party’s co-leader, Caroline Lucas (pictured second right), asked the latest in a series of questions about the impact of the shale gas industry on the economy.

In a written question to the Business Secretary, she requested information about the basis of the Government’s argument that shale gas would support thousands of jobs.

Replying for Greg Clark, the Energy Minister, Claire Perry (pictured right), said the evidence was from reports by Ernst and Young and the Institute of Directors.

Both reports used evidence from the US shale gas industry. The EY report in 2014 predicted there was the potential, at its peak, for the industry to create over 64,000 jobs in the supply chain. The study said if the industry drilled 4,000 lateral wells over 18 years it could create £33bn in investment.

Ms Perry said:

“The economic impact of shale, both locally and nationally will depend on the level of production; but there will clearly be opportunities for UK firms. To determine the potential of the industry, we need exploration to go ahead which Government is encouraging.”


Transcripts

With thanks to TheyWorkForYou.com

Question by Drew Hendry, SNP, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson, Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the environmental risks of shale oil drilling in the south east of England.

Reply by Therese Coffey, Environment Minister, Conservative, Suffolk Coastal

The Environment Agency has assessed the environmental risks associated with drilling for onshore for oil and gas, including shale oil. Any operator proposing to drill for oil or gas onshore in England must apply for one or more permits from the Environment Agency, depending on the activities involved, as well as holding a Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence from the Oil and Gas Authority and applying for planning permission from the Minerals Planning Authority. The Environment Agency will only grant permits if it is satisfied that drilling will be carried out in a way that protects people and the environment. The permits place legally binding conditions on how drilling is carried out to protect groundwater, surface water and air quality and to ensure the safe storage, management and disposal of waste.

Written answer, 29 March 2018, link to transcript

Question by Caroline Lucas, Co-Leader of the Green Party, Brighton Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with the Prime Minister’s oral contribution of 25 October 2017, Official Report, column 300, what the evidential basis is for shale gas to support thousands of jobs in the oil and gas industries and in other sectors; and if he will make a statement.

Reply by Claire Perry, Energy Minister, Conservative, Devizes

The evidence for the contribution was from two reports from Ernst and Young and the Institute of Directors (entitled “Getting Ready for UK Shale Gas” and “Getting Shale Gas Working” respectively). The reports concluded that development of shale gas in the UK could provide thousands of jobs in areas of exploration and production.

The economic impact of shale, both locally and nationally will depend on the level of production; but there will clearly be opportunities for UK firms. To determine the potential of the industry, we need exploration to go ahead which Government is encouraging.

Written answer, 28 March 2018, link to transcript

19 replies »

      • Germany won’t hit its 2020 climate target, not a chance it will go on to hit 2030 either.

        Intermittent wind power??? So what does Germany do? Burn coal…

        Germany is Europe’s largest producer and burner of coal, which accounted for 40.3 percent of net power production in 2017: 15.5 percent from hard coal and 24.8 percent from lignite, also known as brown coal, among the dirtiest of fossil fuels, which Germany mines more of than any other country in the world. Germany’s electricity sector itself is responsible for more than a third of the country’s CO2 emissions. Even more damning: Germany is still digging new open-cast mine pits — as well as subsidizing the industry

        Germany is no poster boy for a green future…

        • Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, the same old same old worn out dj scratch record brigade recycle out yet another fake news fusion criteria officialised propaganda attempt? Newspeak rules?

          This is what mind control looks like:

          ( https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pL1zwMtz_Ho )

          “If you repeat a big enough lie often enough, people will believe it and repeat it as if it is their own.”

          Who said that? I would tell you but i don’t think such things are allowed anymore in our post truth hate session Airstrip One regime?

          We are often told that more CO2 and methane is produced by cattle and decaying vegetation?

          Great! Then let’s grow cattle and extract methane from them and from swamps! Just extract the methane from farms and get some pumps and compressors at every farm and swamp!

          No destroyed and invaded communities, no policing required, and no poisoned land air and water, no deep drilling, no poisonous chemicals, lots more milk and beef subsidised by gas production! Simples!

          Everyone happy! Makes sense doesn’t it? Job solved, frackers can go away and shut up! (to coin a phrase used by our erudite and eloquent adolescent “Defense Minister”!)

          Don’t be part of the disease, be part of the cure..

          • That was an angry rant Phil.

            The stats speak for themselves. Germany is the dirty Coal burner of Europe. You can’t argue with the cold hard truth…

            • This is fun! Neither angry nor rant Kisheny, simply the cold and hard, or indeed hot and soft, like manure, unfortunate truth.

              Unless of course you are prepared to label your own angry rant as such?

              Grow cattle and collect the methane, much more prolific than natural gas, no pollution, no poisoned land or water, no poisonous chemicals and destroyed health of entire communities, more food, more farming to feed ourselves, all natural if organic and clean methods are used.

              If you don’t want to farm, then pipe seawater in the gas pipes and use that patented radio frequency to free up hydrogen and ignite it at the very point of use, simple easy, no chemicals required, and the source is salt water, easily stored and pumped, right up the the ignition point. And then “Viola”! Free hydrogen that burns many times more efficiently and hot as methane and the result is….water! Hey presto! Easy peasy salt water squeezy!

              Everybody wins, everybody happy.
              What is that phrase we hear so often from the anti antis?

              Oh yes, win win.

              Is that truth cold and hard enough to you? Or is truth, cold and hard, or even hot and soft, not to your liking if it contravenes the proscribed pro fracking fusion criteria propaganda capitalisation?

              Gas is fine for a while, but new technologies have all ready made fracking redundant.

              Are we having fun yet?

      • “This is extremely dangerous to their plutocracy!”

        Interesting isn’t it? I think what really worries me, is how childish and simplistic the repetition is?

        It would be interesting to do a UK version on fracking?

        The repetition of epithets and key propaganda words would be equally revealing?

        The emperors new clones?

  1. Careful Kisheny-actually bursting the German energy bubble is akin to criticism of their nice clean diesels!

    But, good for the SNP being interested in the Weald. Self interest in trying to preserve the bargaining chip that the N.Sea currently presents-and a very big reason for Westminster to see whether the Weald is a real option.

    $10 billion wiped off the value of Tesla since the start of March. DRC in turmoil, what will happen regarding cobalt supplies? Investors beware.

    Alternatives are not necessarily a good bet.

  2. While Mr Hendry’s question was about SE England, is he not aware that his own government convened an independent expert scientific panel in 2013 to review this question?
    Their conclusion:
    “Many of these social (and environmental) impacts can be mitigated if they are carefully considered at the planning application stage. Added to which, there are already considerable legislative safeguards to ensure such impacts are not realised.”

    • ‘“Many of these social (and environmental) impacts can be mitigated if they are carefully considered at the planning application stage. ‘

      and yes, these were carefully considered by many planning committees and were refused.

      ‘Added to which, there are already considerable legislative safeguards to ensure such impacts are not realised’ and exactly which safeguards are these? Enforcement of planning breaches; breaking of permits, leaks; the EA and HSE fit for purpose with all the austerity cuts; vested interest by government members?

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