So that\’s shale gas sorted out then

The British Geological Survey estimates that there could be 1,300 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas trapped in the rocks under Lancashire, Yorkshire and surrounding counties – far more than previously thought.

No-one yet knows how much – if any – can be recovered by fracking, the controversial process of blasting water, sand and chemicals into the ground to release the gas.

However, even if only 10pc could be extracted, it could potentially meet Britain\’s annual gas demand, of 3 tcf, for more than 40 years.

I assume that\’s just the Bowland Shale. And I see mutterings around the place that 40% is a reasonable estimate to hope for of finally recoverable reserves. Not that I actually know of course.

As to earthquakes, it was a reader here, Matthew, who calculated that a 0.5 on the Richter Scale, what is set as the limit allowable by Ed Davey, is really rather small. Say that you\’ve over such a \’quake. Directly over one happening in the drilling, half a mile down.

Now, walk outside to the lawn with your handy example bowling ball. Raise it to head height and drop it on the lawn. You have now experienced the same amount of awesome earthshaking and building destruction that a 0.5 earthquake in the drilling depths would cause.

Awesome, isn\’t it? Terrifying even.

And as to the DECC predictions on prices…..they\’ve been saying all along that shale won\’t make any difference to gas prices because it will all be exported. Which is entirely nonsense of course: gas isn\’t as transportable therefore not as fungible as oil. Thus the market is a great deal more regionalised, localised. Local production of any sigificant portion of local consumption will indeed drive prices down. In turn that will lead to a resurgence in certain manufacturing processes: some plastics and most especially fertilisers. Strangely, exporting fertiliser is a cute way of exporting natural gas.

Cheaper energy, low carbon energy, a manufacturing export renaissance: what\’s not to like here?

19 thoughts on “So that\’s shale gas sorted out then”

  1. The 40% figure is a misconception. You get 40% out of the bit of shale you drill. But most of a shale deposit will not be drilled for one reason or another – the fraccers concentrate on the best bits. So 10-15% is more reasonable, although the number is increasing all the time as the technology moves on.

  2. What’s not to like?

    We all know:
    Cheap energy
    Energy sector jobs
    Cheap energy
    Jobs in other sectors
    Cheap energy
    New and renewed sectors in the economy
    Cheap energy
    Exports so we can import
    Cheap energy
    Warm pensioners
    Cheap energy
    Aluminium smelting and other energy intensive businesses
    Cheap energy
    Skilled jobs and technological development in fracking if we move fast.
    Sacked greens???
    No more windmills
    energy security
    no blackouts

    I could go on for hours

    And I am sure that many places could do something similar. Here in the Basque Country we have shale gas in the Subijana play. The politicos are falling over themselves to say we’ll never develop it. Far too dangerous, the world will come to an end, people will mutate and stop being Basque, whatever….

  3. “Cheaper energy, low carbon energy, a manufacturing export renaissance: what’s not to like here?”

    All of the above, if you’re a Greenie. The Greens don’t want us having cheap energy. Nor do they really want us to have low carbon energy (which is why most of them hate atomic power with a vengeance).

    The Greens mean for you to have *less* energy, which is why, always and everywhere, they agitate to make fuel expensive, shut down or block power station, and promote alternatives that simply don’t work.

    The *point* of the Green movement is to destroy Western industrial civilisation, not to save it. Why else do you think they hate shale gas so much?

  4. James. The bird was last seen here 22 years ago. The world has warmed, then stabilised and in the last 5 years started to cool again. The fact it was here at all is clear proof that the world is cooling.

    Winter is Coming.

  5. Serf, if the government was responsible for the supply of gravity we would all be drifting off into outer space.

  6. @Eddy: “In other news, the State Gravity Factory was closed again today by striking workers demanding higher pay and better working conditions. A Government spokesman said that he was sure that there would be plenty of gravity to go around, and that citizens could apply to their local council for a free heavy rock and short length of rope in the unlikely event that they started to float upwards.”

  7. The relevant earthquake scale to use it the Japanese Shindo scale. The Magnitude Moment Scale (incorrectly known as the Richter Scale) measures the energy released at the earthquake site. The Shindo scale describes the energy (acceleration) where you are. (Inverse square law and that…).

    Shindo 0 (the equivalent of a truck driving past). Not felt by most people. Indoor objects will not shake. Buildings will not receive damage. Acceleration less than 0.008m^s

  8. Heard the FOE head of campaigns being interviewed on Radio 4 Today programme yesterday about this subject. All the usual predictable bollocks was present and correct, plus he played the house price card. If this went ahead the hosue proces of people in the local area woudl fall. Just thought it was interesting that he used that tactic.

  9. The Laughing Cavalier

    Nothing sensible will be done while Messrs Davey and Barker are in ministers at The Dept. for Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. Shale Gas barely figures in the Department’s calculations for the coming 25 years.

  10. If this went ahead the house prices of people in the local area would fall.

    Funny, the opposite has generally happened in the US. Lots of workers come to the area. They need housing. Prices rise. I would be worried if I were renting though.

  11. What’s not to like? Indeed. Also, less reliance (and diluting the market effect) of the likes of Gazprom – i.e. not having to factor in which side of bed Vladimir got out of this morning.

    Of course, the current realistic alternative – being in hock to Russians – wouldn’t bother most watermelon greens as the older ones spent most of their youth working towards that very goal .

  12. Don’t want to use the word that may bring unwelcome attention to Mr W’s blog, so I shall use the word “bunty” in its place.

    Remember the “bunty”s we had a few years ago?

    Those “bunty”s will seem like a pillow fight to the real, red-blooded “bunty”s if the lights do go out.

    Forgot to charge the iPad, the iPhone and the iPod? No telly? No lights? No lights OUTSIDE?

    Someone has the address of someone else and broadcasts it when the blackout is over. The next blackout arrives and God’s own “bunty” rips loose at that person’s address or just W1 generally.

    And Ed Davey and the rest of the crew can’t see this.

    Proof really, that they are the dinosaurs looking down at the small furry animal, licking their lips, when they should be looking up at the sky…

  13. So Much For Subtlety


    What’s not to like?

    Not to mention that Tim can come back from whatever Third World sh!thole he is stuck in at the moment.

    Whether that is a plus or a minus I will leave as an exercise for the reader.

  14. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If CAGW-sceptics are supposed to be shills for Western oil companies, then until I see evidence to the contrary I shall assume that Greenpeace, FoE etc. are paid-up agents provocateurs for Gazprom, Lukoil, Rosneft etc. and that Ed Davey is up to his balls in dodgy Russian oligarch bribes. After all that probably does him more credit than assuming he actually believes the shit he spouts, doesn’t it?

  15. Has lowered the price in US because US has NO gas export infrastructure – so all that gas can only be sold on US market – (admittedly a big one, but national transport is also difficult so really it’s a series of local markets ) – and competition between suppliers brings down the price. UK has 3 gas interconnectors – to Belgium, Holland and Ireland – so gas can be exported and hence European wholesale gas pries will apply.

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