Government hopes that Britain can emulate the US by starting a shale-gas revolution have been knocked back after a long-awaited report unexpectedly concluded there was no potential in fracking for gas in the Weald region of southern England.

But who in buggery has been arguing that there is shale gas in the Weald? Hasn’t everyone been saying that there’s oil in the Weald and gas in the Bowland? That shale 10 times the thickness of the Marcellus?

Is this just misdirection from The Guardian?

15 thoughts on “Eh?”

  1. A lot of conflating going on in the Guardian report. Mixing shale gas fracking and the “controversy” over it with ordinary oil drilling and trying to make out that its just as bad.

    Its true though that there is no difference between drilling for oil and drilling for gas. Both use fracking technology. However the environmentalists haven’t been protesting at Wytch Farm.

    I’d be happy if they were consistent in their protesting and picketed at both oil and gas sites. That they only do it at gas wells (and at those which don’t use fracking like CBM sites) shows that they aren’t doing it for the environmental reasons, and only to keep their “sheep” occupied [pun intended].

  2. Yes key word seems to be ‘unexpectedly’. Bit naughty if they cant find any surprised Geologists out there.

  3. Just as gas usually accompanies oil, ignorance, arrogance and mendacity usually accompany stupidity in the Tox Dadger.

  4. @SadButMadLad – there hasn’t been any fracking done for years at Wytch Farm, although that may be about to change soon as they aim to extract from the shallower reservoirs.

    But yes Tim, shale oil is a lot more profitable than shale gas, not least because it’s readily transportable from the wellsite without a pipeline, and then onto ships and onto the global market. You’d need an awful lot of shale gas wells to justify constructing an extensive pipeline network to feed an LNG export terminal, which means you’re predominantly tied to the domestic market.

  5. @Flatcap, I realise that not much fracking is carried out at Wytch now. But it has in the past and the anti frackers don’t seem to have a problem with that. If they were against fracking they should be against every single oil and gas well as it’s a common technique.

    First occupy et al were against shale fracking because of the “toxic chemicals”. Then they changed tack when companies drilled for CBM. No fracking but they still protest about fracking. The protesters aren’t that bright.

  6. Bloke in Central Illinois

    “If they were against fracking they should be against every single oil and gas well as it’s a common technique.”

    I believe they are in fact against every single oil and gas well, but they focus on fracking for tactical reasons.

  7. @sbml – agree, the level of ignorance is quite scary; I sat in an MBA session at a reasonable business school on fracking recently and people from, for example, the National Trust and environmental groups were astonishingly ill-informed about the realities of it. And not interested in hearing anything they disagreed with, either.

  8. @Bloke in CI, if they are against all hydrocarbon wells then they are against the use of all fossil fuels. For some reason they still use cars (usually the oldest most polluting) and still use propane for their cooking. They’ve even accepted coal for their BBQs at Barton Moss. I also don’t see them shutting down existing oil wells which being unprotected are easy targets. No, they go for fracking not for tactical reasons, but just to make the biggest noise possible about nothing.

    They have been making a bit of noise in Beverley, Yorkshire today, basically busking without a license or permission from the council, and got arrested. Rather than go quietly having made their point they rather make it as difficult as possible for the police to arrest them, resisting arrest in the process, and then claim that the large number of police is a fascist act.

    You just got to love the Occupy Marxist anti fracking agitators for what they really are – stupid brainless layabouts with nothing better to do.

  9. Apparently only around 5% of the oil is recoverable and located smack bang in the middle of Tory voters who soon change their minds on fracking when their view is threatened.

    Fracking is a temporary solution and unwise on such a small Island as ours. Shedload of dosh to be made by the usual suspects though.

  10. Tim N
    Yes, and when the amount of gas is piffling, what then? Flare it? Construct an uneconomic compression plant for the winter barbecue market?

    Water also comes up an oil well. (Doh! the oil was laid down in an ocean) but that won’t stop the protesters saying it came up from the water table.

    In short ANY production in the Home Counties has a PR mountain to climb.

  11. SMBL
    If i’m not mistaken, BBQ coal is already partly burnt (to drive off the water). Has the energy release been enviromentally captured in a sustainable way, I wonder?

  12. Yes, and when the amount of gas is piffling, what then? Flare it? Construct an uneconomic compression plant for the winter barbecue market?

    Well, that’s the issue, and a huge one on any new development now that operational flaring is pretty much banned worldwide. We have this exact problem on a prospect in Uganda, plenty of oil but in the middle of nowhere without a local gas market. So do we create a local LPG market by dishing out free gas cookers, and then look a bit sheepish in 6-7 years when the reservoir pressure drops, or do we clobber the project finances by building a plant for export a piffling amount of gas? It’s a tricky one, and it’ll be the same for the UK wells.

    The most common option is to reinject the gas, but often the reservoir characteristics don’t allow that, plus you need to drill another well, which doesn’t come cheap. My guess is in the UK they will tie into as much existing infrastructure as they can, or reinject the stuff. Don’t know if mobile gas processing plants exist, but if they do, I’m sure they’ll get used.

  13. @SBML I think Bloke in CI is right. If they win this one, they will move tout suite onto other extraction on the basis that the argument on fracking is won and look, here’s some more of the evil bastards bang at it.

  14. @Interested, I wish they would really come out and say they are against all hydrocarbon fuels – then it can be pointed out that they are against modern living standards and definitely want to drag us back to the middle ages. Fossil fuels do have a cost but the benefits in our modern life more than make up for it. Greenies are stupid because they only see the cost and don’t see the benefits such a health, food (including their favourite organic foods), easy transport, warm homes, etc.

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