Government ignored new evidence on climate impacts of fracking – court told

pnr 181102 Cuadrilla Resources

Gas flares at Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road near Blackpool, 2 November 2018. Photo: Cuadrilla Resources

The government ignored new science on the climate change impact of shale gas sites when it revised planning policy on fracking, the High Court in London heard today.

The campaign group, Talk Fracking, said a public consultation failed to take into account key new evidence on the effect of methane emissions from shale gas sites.

According to the group, civil servants said the evidence was too difficult to assess and they didn’t need to consider it.

Talk Fracking was making its case this afternoon in a legal challenge to the government on the National Planning Policy Framework. This is the document used by councils to shape their local plans and decide on planning applications.

This was the second challenge this week on the NPPF at the Royal Courts of Justice. Friends of the Earth argued earlier that the government should have carried out an assessment of the impact of the NPPF on the environment. DrillOrDrop report

181112 BEIS protest Ruth Jarman CCA

Climate change campaigners blockade the entrance to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, 12 November 2018. Photo: Christian Climate Action

The Talk Fracking case centres on a single paragraph in the revised NPPF, issued in July 2018.

Paragraph 209a requires local authorities to

“recognise the benefits of on-shore oil and gas development, including unconventional hydrocarbons, for the security of energy supplies and supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy; and put in place policies to facilitate their exploration and extraction;”

This paragraph incorporated into the NPPF government support for shale gas on climate change grounds from a Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) made in 2015. The WMS, in turn, was based on a 2013 report commissioned by the government from scientists David Mackay and Timothy Stone.

Talk Fracking, thorough its member, Claire Stephenson, argued this afternoon that the Local Government Secretary had acted unlawfully in publishing and adopting the revised NPPF.

The minister should have considered new evidence developed since the Mackay and Stone report, which challenged the government’s policy on the benefits of shale gas for transition to a low carbon economy.

The court heard that the government consultation attracted more than 29,000 comments. Most of those on shale gas, including a submission by Talk Fracking, opposed the proposed revisions.

Talk Fracking referred in its consultation response to what it regarded as a key piece evidence, known as the Mobbs Report.

This concluded that previous data on the level and potency of methane emissions from shale gas developments had been underestimates. It cast doubt on the reliability of the Mackay and Stone report and questioned government arguments that shale gas had a lower carbon footprint than imported liquid natural gas.

David Wolfe QC, for Talk Fracking, said civil servants collating consultation responses failed to include a link to the Mobbs Report, provided in a footnote in the campaign group’s submission. They also failed to consider the content of the Mobbs Report.

The court heard that a witness statement by a lead official, Dr Michael Bingham, confirmed that the Mobbs Report dealt with “a contested area of science and was taking a view on various detailed academic studies”.

But Dr Bingham added:

“It was not feasible for the team to assess the veracity of the range of work referred to or the conclusions drawn”.

Paul Mobbs report

The Mobbs Report, by researcher and investigator, Paul Mobbs

Dr Wolfe said the Mobbs report, and others, “plainly needed to be evaluated”. He said:

“The government was contemplating rolling forward a statement and policy which had been based on a detailed scientific assessment, the continuing correctness of which was being challenged by consultees.

“The Secretary of State had asked for (and indeed encouraged) views: he needed to consider them properly, particularly when they were scientifically based and properly explained.

“It was no answer to put it in the “too hard” pile, without even looking at it.”

The court also heard that Dr Bingham suggested that government did not need to consider the climate change impact of fracking when it revised the NPPF because this had been done elsewhere.

In his witness statement, Dr Bingham added:

“Nor was it necessary given the limited purpose of paragraph 204a [the draft paragraph number] – i.e. to carry forward existing policy at a high level, as a framework for plans and decisions at the local level.”

Dr Wolfe responded that the points raised by the Talk Fracking consultation response and the Mobbs Report were material to the decision to include paragraph 209a in the revised NPPF.

“The Defendant [Secretary of State] failed to consider the material put before him about scientific developments in relation to the climate impact of fracking. As a result, he failed to grapple with the question of whether the development of on-shore oil and gas was compatible with the UK’s obligations under the 2008 Act.”

Instead, Dr Wolfe said, civil servants summarised for the Secretary of State the consultation responses as:

“There is minimal support for the changes”

“the majority of disagreement to changes in policy is on environmental and climate change grounds”

[some interest groups] “believed that these policies should be omitted due to disagreement with the principle of fossil fuels, shale development and fracking”.

Dr Wolfe said:

“These summaries gave the clear impression that the only thing emerging from the consultation was a general (essentially political) opposition to fracking, rather than concern that the stated policy being adopted was not supported by scientific evidence.”

Tomorrow’s hearing will hear more of Talk Fracking’s case. Rupert Warren QC, for the Secretary of State, will then defend the challenge. He is expected to argue that paragraph 209a sought “at a very high level” to restate the government’s position on what it regarded as the benefits of shale gas and to encourage local councils to “facilitate onshore oil and gas developments”.

  • The case resumes at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in London at 10.30am.

Reporting from this hearing has been made possible by individual donations from DrillOrDrop readers

58 replies »

  1. It’s crucial to get this right. The science of top down emissions measurement is still playing catch up with the runaway commercial exploitation, which is now only around 10 years old (the current form of unconventional/shale gas extraction). But the studies on emissions and impacts are growing and ringing alarm bells. The issue overall has come down to corporate profits versus ecosystems.

    The local versus imported LNG argument is a red herring so long as you never question how the gas is sourced. Local unconventional will be far worse environmentally than imported conventional. The profits from onshore unconventional would be (as ever) private/corporate while the costs of health and environmental impacts would be public and social.

    • Philip P – I presume you are aware that LNG from Qatar comes from the North Field 900 TCF (South Pars in Iran 450 TCF). And that it contains H2S which has to be removed before the gas can be liquified. Both processess are energy intensive as is transportation. This is of course the largest none associated gas field in the world. Conventional.

      • I expect you’re right Paul. Are you suggesting we should believe that those processes are more intrusive, energy intensive and polluting as starting new shale gas fields (wells by the thousand) on mainland UK? Meanwhile do you think any UK shale gas is going to come out of the ground as pure methane and won’t need decontaminating/scrubbing and needing condensates removed?

        Btw. The huge Azeri field will soon be piping their products into the European grid, to boost supplies … Conventional.


              Why? Fugitive emissions occur from gas infrastructure – control valves (often gas operated and vented to the atmosphere), compressors, pig launchers, driers etc etc. Same for conventional and unconventional once the gas is out of the well and in the flow line to the processing facility. The difference between the two is the flowback associated emissions post fracking, that’s all. Everything else is the same. The longer the pipeline, the more transportation infrastructure, the more emissions (now know as fugitive for some unexplained reason). So a HP gas pipeline, which the TANAP is part of, will have significantly higher fugitive emissions than the Norwegian link line for example. By nature of distance and a lot more infrastructure.

              “The 1,850 kilometer (1,150 miles) TANAP pipeline connects to the South Caucasus Pipeline, which pumps gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz 2 field in the Caspian through Georgia to Turkey.

              Another section of the pipeline project, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is slated to bring gas from Turkey through Greece and Albania to Italy by 2020.

              The 3,500-kilometer Southern Gas Corridor will deliver 6 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Turkey and 10 billion cubic meters to Europe.”

              “TANAP facilities alone comprise seven compressor Stations and forty nine Block Valve Stations.”

              More info here:


            • And you may want to read this PhilipP:


              “It concludes that the Southern Gas Corridor’s overall environmental impact would actually be as damaging as coal, largely because of fugitive emissions of uncombusted methane and other leaks.

              Such high-pressure pipelines are susceptible to leaks, the study says, and the methane that is released is a particularly potent greenhouse gas that is more damaging than CO2. The study looked at nine different scenarios for the pipeline, and in five of them, the share of unintended methane emissions in extraction and transmissions would be between 2.44 percent and 5.95 percent.

              The International Energy Agency has said that any gas project with more than three percent fugitive emissions can be doing climate damage than coal.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Observatori del Deute en la Globalització and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.”

              Conventional, very high % of a very large throughput rate…..need anything else?

            • Well, one thing’s for sure, the major pipelines will get a lot of attention for leaks and emissions while the upkeep and responsibility for old gas wells in fracking zones is a problem. Pipelines, pumps, condensers, scrubbers and the rest would multiply across the land while wells are productive – which is only for a few years each – before being flicked on to the highest bidder and, in many cases abanded. Then there’s all the toxic waste water to manage.

            • Not sure what point you are trying to make with the abandoned / orphaned wells in the US PhilipP? The wells referred to in the link are old, very old, and will be conventional wells.

              As I said earlier, I don’t expect shale gas production in the UK so no toxic waste (whatever that is?).

              I am aware of one old onshore well in the UK which was found to be leaking (bubbles….). This was fixed straightaway by the new licence holder. It was in a school. No antis seem to have picked up on this – not even Greenpeas and Enemies of Industry.

              If you are concerned about fugitive emissions of methane you need to worry about very large fields and high throughput long distance transportation systems. Such as the one from the Caspian to Europe which you kindly linked us to.

            • You need to read the whole report Paul. There are several 2016 and 17 refs. Remedial costs have to be anticipated (and are in more recent years) .. another nail in the coffin for speculator’s profitability “However, bond amounts may not meet the plugging and cleanup expenses if an operator goes bankrupt. Most states therefore collect fees or a production surcharge from operators specifically for remediation of orphaned wells and associated surface equipment. For example, Pennsylvania adds an orphaned well surcharge to drilling permit application fees, while Texas adds a 5/8-cent Oil Field Cleanup surcharge to the state’s 4.6% oil production tax. The Oklahoma Energy Resources Board remediates abandoned well sites using voluntary industry contributions amounting to 0.1% of oil and gas sales.”

              My point is that deterioration and leaks happen. Then, remediation is never immediate, and with the population density that you get here these things will be under peoples noses while authorities debate spending priorities. Whatever leak rate you can ascribe to large single pipelines it will probably be worse for a multitude wells and rapidly aging infrastructure that corporates lose interest in after they’ve past their prime for profitability, which is very few years indeed.

            • 5% of a pipeline transporting 3,000 mmscfd is a bigger number than a shale gas field producing 100mmscfd opened up to the elements with no control / valves leaking at 100%? And the pipeline 5% continues for 30 years, the 100mmscfd declines rapidly. So even if the shale field fugitive emissions are 10% which is high which is worse for the environment?

              The orphaned wells issue is being addressed in North America (it is also a problem in Canada) and it will not happen in the UK.

            • That’s a strange argument Paul. We’re not comparing like with like. For every well that loses productivity another well will overtake it. A shale gas field is either developing and expanding or dying. The wells would keep multiplying along with the pipes, pumps, condensers etc. Then there’s bursts of emissions from the drilling stage onward as you know. Methane migration and rogue emissions have yet to be determined for the unusually faulted UK situation. There are all sorts of other environmental impacts and risks as well.

              Your statement that orphaned wells “will not happen in the UK” is an eyebrow raiser! But if shale gas is going nowhere in the UK you could be right…. I wonder why you said “I don’t expect any UK shale gas production” given the follow up statements about the high proportion of methane. Is it the condensates that are the main concern for Ineos I wonder?

            • The number of wells is not relevant. The quantity of methane entering the atmosphere is the issue. Transporting gas over long distances through pipelines or on ships has greater quantitative emissions. This is what you are worried about I think?

              Why do you focus on shale gas wells as “orphaned wells”? I know for a fact (as I have a friend currently working on the North American issue) that the vast majority are old conventional wells. Geological faulting makes no difference unless the faults are permeable through to the surface – which they are not in the UK areas.

              I don’t think shale will happen in the UK on a large scale due to impacts on infrastructure and population density – traffic on roads etc. Small gas to power projects such as KM in Yorkshire may go ahead. Same could happen in the Fylde but not on a large scale.

              Methane is emissions are natural all over the world and happening every day from sedimentary basins with shale source rock where there is no geological trap / seal.

            • “Methane is emissions are natural all over the world and happening every day from sedimentary basins with shale source rock where there is no geological trap”
              … Well yes, but on top of that you’ve got the extra methane released by industrial activities – the most potent source of additional global warming. Love the way you make science up to suit your arguments. Here’s the graphs of ‘natural’ methane alongside the rises in CO2 and N2O – especially noticeable since the start of industrial revolution.

              Figure 1: Concentrations of important long-lived greenhouse gases over the last 2,000 years, from measurements on air trapped in ice cores. Increases since about 1750 are attributed to human activities in the industrial era. Concentration units are parts per million (ppm) or parts per billion (ppb), indicating the number of molecules of the greenhouse gas per million or billion air molecules, respectively, in an atmospheric sample. (Figure from Forster et al., 2007)…

            • Industrial activity & methane? Not a lot of industrial methane production until 1900 onwards. So the increase in methane must be natural albeit possibly aided by other human activity such as deforestation / peat digging etc. Also Krakatoa in 1883 may have had some impact?

            • Or more blinkered a the case may be Martin. Biogenic methane is ‘surface’ carbon, sequestered in plants or various animals/organisms and returned to atmosphere/biosphere in a carbon cycle of relatively few years… that’s manageable. Compare that to releasing carbon (in huge quantities) into the atmosphere from deposits that are millions of years old. Where’s the loop? Solutions on the back of a postcard please.

        • I don’t expect any UK shale gas roduction. But from what I have read the issue is low calorific value not too many liquid ends. Too high a methane content too low ethane / propane content? Possibly CO2 but unlikely H2S.

          • From a recent paper published in May 2018 in Petroleum Geoscience ‘Shale Gas Resources of the Bowland Basin, NW England: a holistic study’ which contains analysis of real data from the Becconsall-1z, Preese Hall-1 and Grange Hill-1z wells, drilled by Cuadrilla between 2010 and 2012. Analysis of 51 gas smples from Becconsall-1z, 89 gas samples from Preese Hall-1 and 89 gas samples from Grange Hill-1z show that gas from the Upper and Lower Bowland shales has a methane content of 90 – 97%, C2 – C5+ from 0.7 – 9.1% and CO 2 from 2 – 4.3%. The paper notes that the composition of the Bowland shale gas ‘is very similar to that from the onshore Lancashire, Cuadrilla opertated Elswick gasfield and produced gases from the Southern North Sea. All of which show that any gas that may be produced from the Bowland Shale will need minimal surface treatment.

            • Thanks David S. The Southern North Sea gas from Amoco Leman and Indie was very dry with only around 1bbl / MMSCFD condensate. So possibly similar to this. The May 2018 report you refer to is somewhat different to numbers quoted by some of the antis on this BB previously.

              All we had to do was knock out the condensate and water in long slug catchers at Bacton, dry the gas (I think we did this offshore) and send it over the road to British Gas where it went straight in the grid after BG added mercaptans so we can smell it.

            • “All of which show that any gas that may be produced from the Bowland Shale will need minimal surface treatment”

              The low calorific value of shale gas is a major issue, says gas guru

              The average calorific value (CV) of the UK national gas grid is 39.5 megajoules per cubic metre; shale gas is quite low at around 37. To get round this, shale gas suppliers may have to inject propane, which costs 140p per therm, into gas transmission pipelines to make up for the shortfall.

              “This is a major issue,” said John Baldwin, managing director of CNG Services Limited. “You probably will have to add propane in LTS (Local Transmission Systems).”

              Note the 3 wells were drilled between 2010 and 2012. This information came from the 2012 shale gas summit. One must presume this statement is advised from the 3 well reports.

              Not so minimal according to the experts.

            • JP – repetition of the same old stuff (as usual). Perhaps the gas guru hadn’t seen the May 2018 Paper in Petroleum Geoscience ‘Shale Gas Resources of the Bowland Basin, NW England: a holistic study’. You have been spouting this calorific value story for quite a long time before this came out? I statrted to believe you…. David S has addressed this further down. We certainly didn’t “spike” Leman and Indie gas with propane or anything else except mercaptans. We did however remove the condensate.

              Still waiting for your paper on CBLS?

        • Read the post from David S a couple of posts above:
          “From a recent paper published in May 2018 in Petroleum Geoscience ‘Shale Gas Resources of the Bowland Basin, NW England: a holistic study’ which contains analysis of real data from the Becconsall-1z, Preese Hall-1 and Grange Hill-1z wells, drilled by Cuadrilla between 2010 and 2012. Analysis of 51 gas smples from Becconsall-1z, 89 gas samples from Preese Hall-1 and 89 gas samples from Grange Hill-1z show that gas from the Upper and Lower Bowland shales has a methane content of 90 – 97%, C2 – C5+ from 0.7 – 9.1% and CO 2 from 2 – 4.3%. The paper notes that the composition of the Bowland shale gas ‘is very similar to that from the onshore Lancashire, Cuadrilla opertated Elswick gasfield and produced gases from the Southern North Sea. All of which show that any gas that may be produced from the Bowland Shale will need minimal surface treatment.”

  2. That is economics for the kiddies, PhilipP. For those a bit more knowledgeable than you suggest:

    UK currently imports gas from “conventional” AND “unconventional”. Inconvenient, but FACT. Conventional import sources are either drying up or from extremely insecure sources, so unconventional import is likely to rise.

    The profits from onshore unconventional and conventional will be TAXED which pays for many items, public and social. Corporate profits may excite a few, but without corporate profits to contribute tax the shortfall is made up from tax upon the individual. Be honest, you are just the same as some of the other antis. You just want to impose your dogma upon the majority and for them to pick up the bill, suggesting there will be no bill via kiddies economics.

    Do you really expect that any on DoD have no knowledge of the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, how it is produced and what it provides??

    • Away with your kiddie arguments Martin – you’re missing (and evading) the point as usual. Your pro colleagues regularly throw up the argument of developing our own unconventional industry versus importing LNG. The distortion/red-herring is on your side, firstly because it is well know that imported LNG comprises only a small fraction of gas consumed in this country and secondly because it is clear that you haven’t studied the realities of profits and losses in the industry we’re talking about, as it has existed in its latest phase. Wall Street has spun up a money-go-round regarding the large investment funds involved while the exploration and development companies continually fail to show profits.

      You emphasize FACT as if you think your argument is based on knowledge that only you possess. Think again, you need time to catch up.

      • From the man who wasn’t even aware of which Barclays were the owners of Third Energy! Catching up?

        You are simply trying to imply that all our imported gas (increasing) will come from “clean” sources compared to “dirty” UK shale. That is nonsense, is currently not the case, and will not be going forward.

        Of course (LOL) the shale businesses are so unprofitable that Shell was reported yesterday to be about to invest ANOTHER $8 billion! You are the one who needs to catch up-especially when you suggest the economic nonsense of wells “by the thousand” in a non profit making sector. How does that work?

        Just a helpful hint-exploration companies routinely fail to make a profit. It is the move from exploration to production that displays the profit. One small but important economic FACT, PhilipP.

        In reply to your question reaction, it is a valid one and will be established in the future. If it is competitive, the sector will develop, if not, it will not. But, I will not be inclined to refer to the infamous 2013 comments from a certain Lord, as I have noted what happened subsequent to that, reference the production costs for shale. That did take OPEC and some of the majors, by surprise, so a mistake made by many but one that should now be a lesson to all but the most blinkered antis. (But, with some showing the same problem following others for their own investments, a lesson that may not be unique.)

        • Gosh! still clinging to that Barclays slip that I both acknowledged and corrected on the very same day? (about a year ago was it?). Pitiful. Perhaps one day you’ll own up to your own errors – like your prognosis on Tesla’s demise.

          • I did not suggest Tesla was anywhere near a demise, PhilipP. I have however pointed out that “alternative” companies, such as Tesla, have not been the instant fix that some would propose, and equally, that investors were becoming fed up with growth promises that started to go backwards and income that did not materialise. Seems only fair, when it has been the remit for some antis to continually claim companies exploring for oil and gas are Ponzi schemes, and it is only what they spend on PR which generates the suckers to fund them. Pot and kettle.

            The Barclays slip would have been easily forgotten, if it was taken out of context. However, the debate at that time was around corporate governance and it is rather revealing that someone wants to wade into a corporate governance discussion without first checking who the corporation was! Call me old fashioned, but it does indicate a desire to manufacture grievance where there is no basis.

    • From the UK’s ODI’s report on Scoring G7 progress in ending government support for fossil fuels.
      The telling part of the report: The UK does not publish specific reports on fiscal support for fossil fuels, and has not participated in a peer review process under the G20. In addition, despite high-level commitments, the government denies that it provides any fossil fuel subsidies (under the government’s own definition).
      3. Ending support for fossil fuel exploration 38/100
      • Under the 2016 Maximising Economic Recovery Strategy, the UK government is incentivising oil and gas exploration in the North Sea.
      • Fiscal support for oil and gas exploration was provided domestically in the form of seismic survey programme budget expenditures and tax exemptions (2015 and 2016). In 2017, the UK government also provided new tax breaks for North Sea oil and gas exploration.
      • In addition to fiscal support at home, UKEF provided international guarantees for oil and natural gas exploration in Brazil and the United Arab Emirates (2015 and 2016). In 2017, UKEF also pledged export financing to Colombia for deep water oil exploration
      Ending support for oil and gas production 42/100
      • Fiscal support was provided to oil and gas production domestically through tax reductions and exemptions, including through extraction allowances and investment allowances (2015 and 2016).
      • Overall, increasing tax breaks for oil and gas production has been a trend in recent years, and in the 2017 Autumn Budget, the UK government confirmed additional tax breaks and decommissioning support for oil and gas companies in the North Sea.
      • Under the 2016 Maximising Economic Recovery Strategy, a new fiscal support measure of transferable tax histories will be introduced in
      2019, allowing North Sea oil and gas companies to transfer tax payable to purchasers of oil and gas, as well as to claim tax relief for future decommissioning costs.
      • The UK also continues to provide public finance to oil and gas production overseas. This includes CDC and UKEF support for natural gas and oil extraction, refining and transport in Brazil, China, India, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and Viet Nam (2015 and 2016).
      • In 2017, it was estimated that 14% of UKEF’s credit exposure was to the oil and gas sector. In 2016–17, UKEF also provided loans to Ghana in the development of its offshore oil and gas resources, and in 2018 had planned support for an oil refinery project in Oman to support exports into the UK.
      6. Ending support for fossil fuel-based power 50/100
      • The UK government provided fiscal support for fossil fuel-fired power, through exemptions on the carbon price floor tax and climate change levy for supplies to combined heat and power stations (2015 and 2016).
      • Non-fiscal support is also provided through the capacity mechanism and it is estimated that two-thirds of payments in 2018–2035 will be to fossil fuel power.
      • UKEF and CDC Group provided international public finance support for oil and gas-fired power in eight countries in 2015 and 2016: Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.
      • In 2017 and 2018, UKEF also agreed support for the development of new and maintenance of existing fossil fuel-fired power plants in Iraq.
      7. Ending support for fossil fuel use 50/100
      • Fiscal support is provided to industry, transport, households and other sectors (2015 and 2016). Two major types of support are the reduced value-added tax (VAT) rates on household fuel and power consumption and reduced taxation on transport fuel for use in engines, motors and heating (e.g. aviation).

  3. I told you reaction. You speculate and fabricate if you like, but don’t expect me to join you.

    I am quite willing to await the results of the tests but you wish to prevent that happening. Perhaps you are worried that the costs will be competitive, because if they are not, then there is no fracking. Either way, there will then be no need for your “expertise”. So, enjoy the uncertainty while it lasts. May still be a little time left to go for the ‘photo prize money.

    • So no answer again Martian? Just still more Collywibble. But a moment ago you were speculating and fabricating that “The profits from onshore unconventional and conventional will be TAXED which pays for many items, public and social. ” And now you are admitting you have no idea if they will actually make a profit or not. Oh very dear!

  4. Conventional is taxed already, unconventional would obviously follow. Of course, if there were no profits there would be no tax! Oh very obvious to all but those who live in Wonderland.

    Maybe you assume most of your audience do not understand that? Oh very silly.

    But then, I want to see if they are able to get to that stage. You are frightened that they do because you do understand what would follow, but don’t think others do. Oh yes they do.

    Meanwhile, we have INEOS making UK profit out of US shale gas and paying tax on that within the UK-so, not yet the full monty but half way house. A full house would be better, IMHO. Maybe, especially for Bridgend.

    • So your use of the words “will be” rather than “would be” is just you over-egging the Collywibble pudding again then? Thought so. 🙂

      Go on Martian – how much do you think it is going to cost them per therm to extract shake gas in the UK? Roughly?

  5. Just for information and clarification, Cuadrilla bought Elswick and it was not gas from Shale, a much shallower well. In addition according to an annual report from Centrica a couple of years ago it has not produced any gas since 2014.

    • Ronin – correct
      The gas at Elswick was produced from the younger Lower Permian Collyhurst Sandstone. Interestingly the well was subject to a low volume frack back in 1993. The authors of the paper I reference are merely commenting that the composition of the gas produced at Elswick and from the Southern North Sea gas fields is very similar to the gas samples from the Cuadrilla wells.

  6. Philip P – with respect, my post was in response to your comment ‘won’t need decontaminating/scrubbing and needing condensates removed?’ and nothing more. The information in the May 2018 paper was not from the 2012 shale gas summit but was a result of analysis of core samples, well cuttings, well logs and gas samples from the 3 wells mentioned, undertaken by the Universities of Aston, British Columbia and Keele in conjunction with Cuadrilla and Carboniferous Ltd. The paper was first submitted for peer review in June 2017 and is the first time this information has been published

    • Always good to have extra info David. My comment was partly a response to Paul and partly (at the end) a speculation on Ineos’s interest in the condensates like ethane or other alkanes useful for their plastics manufacturing.

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