Dear God these people are desperate about shale gas, aren\’t they?

Foreign firms cash in on fracking boom in the UK: Most companies licensed to drill using technique are not British-owned

And? You mean that foreigners are willing to risk their capital, use their expertise, to produce lovely gas that we can then consume?

This is a problem now, is it?

The shale gas energy boom which critics say will scar the countryside could line the pockets of foreign firms rather than boosting the British economy.

Most of the companies licensed to drill for the fuel using the controversial technique known as fracking are not UK-owned, it can be revealed.

Horrors, eh?

So, where does the incredibly frightening forecast come from then?

David Cameron wants to see Britain at the heart of the ‘shale gas revolution’. But analysis of Department of Energy and Climate Change data by Greenpeace indicates that six out of ten licences are held by companies with a foreign firm as their only or main investor.

Barry Gardiner, Labour’s special envoy for Climate Change warned that shale gas will be much harder to exploit in Britain than in the US.

He said: ‘In an age of international contracts, inevitably you are looking at multi-national concerns being involved.

\’It is never the case that the benefits are going to end up back in the domestic country unless there is a state monopoly. But the concern is that the ultimate beneficiaries will end up being elsewhere.

‘We are in a very different situation than the US, we are a much more densely populated country and it will be very problematic to drill for shale gas here.’

A combination of the Labour Party and Greenpeace. So that would be why it\’s an insane complaint then.

The technical assertion is itself wrong. The Bowland shale, for example, is many, many times thicker than most of the US shales. This makes it easier to drill, not more difficult. From one well pad you can get more gas for longer. For you drill the same horizontal distances as the Americans do, that\’s fine. But then when you\’ve done one layer of it then you can do it all over again another layer down. And it is the drilling that costs a chunk of the money: fracking is about 50% of the total cost. So, if you can refrack the same well many times at different layers then your exploitation of the gas will cost you less than if you can only frack a well once.

Yes, it is more complex than this but it is indeed true that this applies.

And then of course there\’s the entire stupidity of the economic claim that they are making. The value to us of fracking is that we get to use the gas that has been fracked. Gas isn\’t easy to transport, we don\’t have a pipeline network to export it, we don\’t have the LNG terminals necessary either (we do indeed have LNG terminals but they are for imports, not exports. A very different thing: to export you must be able to compress the gas. To import you need to decompress it: entirely different installations). So what gets dug up will be used by us, here. Hurrah!

Then there\’s the tax that will be levied on it. Who drills makes no difference to that. The UK has a lot of North Sea experience on how to make damn sure that said tax is paid. British Gas, for example, pays 75% of all its (North Sea) gas drilling profits to the Treasury.

So we get cheap energy and lots of tax cash. Hurrah!

Against which some Johnny Foreigner will get some profits from the use of his capital. Woes. That\’s their complaint and it\’s a damn fucking stupid one too. On that ground BP should only ever drill in the UK and Shell only ever here and in Holland.

And just to ram this home \”the benefits are going to end up back in the domestic country unless there is a state monopoly\”

That really is socialism of a very national kind, isn\’t it? Still, there are certain parts of the Labour Party (and of Greenpeace) that never really did get over the economic attractions of fascism.

15 comments on “Dear God these people are desperate about shale gas, aren\’t they?

  1. All the benefits will go to foreigners huh…..

    We have a world class oil services industry in the UK, but it is focused on offshore (for obvious reasons)

    Give all those clever engineers a chance to try their hand at shale, and the sector will gain new expertise, and have new services to export.

    Thats without the impact of relatively cheaper natural gas for consumers.

  2. Serf, you will have to compress it to cool it. Otherwise you’ll be waiting a rather long time :-)

    Didn’t the last British windmill manufacturer on the Isle of Wight go bust last year? Surely we should stop enriching those dirty foreigners and cease the install of wind turbines immediately!

  3. Windmills don’t scar the countryside, do they?

    Greenpeace & the worst of Labour in bed together. Pure porn, cos they are, economically speaking a bunch of handjobbers

  4. It was a Danish company, not a UK company.

    The campaigns to stop the factory closing and all the associated job losses, and to stop the construction of turbines on the downs nearby, were happening simultaneously.

  5. Interesting that the article is in the Mail not the Grauniad. Still I suppose the Mail is rather Rule Britannia, Can’t Trust Johnny Foreigner, Imperial Preference and don’t forget us NIMBYs

  6. 2 reasons shale may be even better here than the US:
    Smaller country, you are unlikely to be more than 10 miles from an existing pipeline, in the US it might be 100.
    Unitary authority (HM govt). Pipelines are a nightmare to fund when there are multiple players, states, federal, landowners, etc.

  7. How can the greenies complain about a little shale rig when they want huge wind turbines everywhere?

    OK, I know why, but how do they get away with it?

  8. And I used to enjoy this blog…

    Nowadays, it’s really bad for my blood pressure.

    So, Greens don’t want anyone to do shale.

    But they especially don’t want Johnny Foreigner to do it.

    But they want us to huddle round the seaweed fire, and they don’t care if JF is polluting the world with his coal power stations.

    Logic. moi?

  9. Go on then, I’ll bite.

    I’ll highlight three parts from the last paragraph…

    “socialism of a very national kind… attractions of fascism”

    Remind you of anyone?

  10. It’s all too easy to insult Barry Gardiner, Labour’s “special envoy for Climate Change” – but just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing – the guy is a sock puppeting, braying arse who’s bought into the Gweenpiece “socialist vision” of “science”.

    They’ll bleat, squeal and hoot and holler and try to stop enhanced methane recovery – I’d like somebody to take a large chunk or several out of them for the damage they’ve already done.

    Let’s give them their hair shirts – deny them gas (or leccy derived there from), coal likewise, no nuclear leccy – they must live only by the renewables they foisted upon the rest of us – and they must pay the full price – I’ll be generous and sell it to them at cost.

    There – sorted.

  11. Between this and Greenpeace’s gimmicky stunt in Osborne’s constituency the other day, it looks like they’ve lost the policy argument and they know it.

  12. “Greenpeace’s gimmicky stunt in Osborne’s constituency the other day,”
    Bemused wasn’t the word for it. Given that they’d installed what was supposed to be an entire fracking operation on a corner of a small village roundabout, without causing the council to go ballistic, couldn’t help wondering which side of the argument they were taking.

  13. Bloomberg are reporting that UK stores of natural gas are running dangerously low, and we can expect to run out completely in fifteen days. Even quicker if the forecast cold snap materialises.

  14. The Far Left can be xenophobic when they want to be. And the moment a UK firm starts Fracking the green loons will ‘occupy’ the place and shut it down.

    Shameless, hypocritical liars to a man.

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