Why not just frack Lancashire?

Britain has emerged as the unlikely first recipient of gas from a sanctioned Russian project after fears of a winter supply crisis drove prices close to five year highs.

Russian President Vladimir Putin opened the £20bn Yamal project on Russia’s northern coastline last week. Shortly after, British wholesale gas prices soared to four-year highs when a crucial North Sea pipeline was put out of action by a crack and a distribution hub in Austria was hit by an explosion.

Now a deal has been struck to bring the debut cargo from Yamal to the Isle of Grain import terminal via a specially built ice-breaking tanker by the end of the month.

21 thoughts on “Why not just frack Lancashire?”

  1. Because May is a well-off, MC/CM, London Bubble, eco-freak, BluLabour useless bitch Tim.

    See the HoC yesterday.


  2. Couldn’t agree more with both Tim and Mr Ecks

    May is pathetic, ignorant, goes with the wind, has no principles that I can see and is weak but authoritarian and therefore, dangerous for the country.

    Lancashire? Frack, baby frack!

  3. Home fracking has nothing but advantages:

    Cheap(er) energy (cos what’s in the ground is a totally new resource)
    An increase in wealth that is like a lottery win. Totally additional to anything that we had before.
    Safe supplies (Trump has that clear and we should too)
    Well-paid jobs in construction, energy, transport and even catering etc.
    Income for affected people (this is one key, who could turn down a ‘rental style’ income for having their land exploited?)
    For those who like it, a good tax take.

    The environmental problems are minimal compared to other extraction processes and leave no permanent scars (windmills?)

    Possibly there are, in some areas, earth tremors, often only detectable by sensitive equipment. These have never been significant.

    The pre-Trump EPA (that nest of vipers) had to admit that they couldn’t find a single case of aquifer pollution.

    And for those of us (an ever-growing number including many scientists not just amateur nut-jobs like me) who believe (because believing anything else looks more and more stupid by the day) that CO2 is no problem, quite the contrary, we don’t care about using fossil fuels (keep working on the other aspects of pollution? Yes but CO2?, Pulease). Do we really believe we can control the climate? We need a King Canute.

    For those that do care (poor darlings) and believe that a trace gas drives the climate, fracked gas has brought down the US CO2 emissions more than any of the signatories to the Kyoto/Paris/whatever rip-offs.

    Just exactly what is not to like?

    And Tim, please, it is time to stop talking about carbon taxes. Stop giving solutions to a non-existent problem. It merely gives the impression that there is one. I am waiting for the day that you apply your detective talents to the question of Warble Gloaming. The evidence on one side (and the lack of it on the other) is all available. It is political and a scandal.

    We need your talents. It is one of the cruellest things we are doing to the poorest in our societies and an enormous brake on third world development.

  4. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Duh. The Austrian government refused OMV a licence to frack around Poysdorf, which is 50 or so miles west of Baumgarten where the gas terminal blew up. The oil company reckoned that there are 30 years worth of gas in the ground there.

    And now the people of Vienna are chopping down the chestnut trees along the Ring, burning their Biedermaier furniture, shooting the elephants in the zoo…

  5. Just want Theresa to come out of number 10. Walk up to the lecturn and say, nay sing “Frack Baby Frack” and then do a little head nod, swivel, and go back through the number 10.
    Then in the next queen’s speech….

  6. @bilbaoboy. Tim is an Economist so he sees stuff purely in those terms. Just like a carpenter with a hammer … always looking for nails to bang in. He needs to decide whether the implement he wishes to sit on is actually a fence, before he starts banging in the nails. Frack, frack, baby!!

  7. Felipe

    I understand your point and Tim obviously does a) what he is good at and b) what he wants and c) what he feels he needs to, but

    Underneath it all the Warble Gloaming scandal is an economic question and it has distorted the developed world to the tune of ‘I don’t even want to think about it’ billions.

    It is the biggest economic disaster ever visited on the human race and is having and will have effects especially in under-developed countries way beyond what we think.

    The major problem in Africa is corruption, but the second is lack of basic infrastructure for the people. Yeah the mobile phone is doing a great job, but until there is a cheap, reliable and available source of energy, development is impossible. Third, fortress EU slaps wonderful tariffs on their agricultural products so that French farmers can buy Range Rovers from the sale of 3 croissants a day.

    You can’t study, if you don’t have light.
    You develop lung problems if you cook over wood or shit fires
    You can’t keep medicines if the power keeps outing.. etc

    If you think uncontrolled mass economically and politically-driven immigration is a problem (as I do), then the development of Africa is a no-brainer (apart from being the Christian thing to do). For them, frack if they can, but I suspect dig, baby dig and put up coal fired plants is the answer.

  8. I used to live in Blackpool not far from the fracking site.
    Its claimed it causes earthquakes, I’ve been woken up in Blackpool by earthquakes several times. Before fracking was a thing.
    Perhaps Blackpool, like the rest of the UK, simply has the occasional earthquake.

    The locals are against fracking with one well. When the price rises and supply is short the rest of the country will demand far more wells and far quicker extraction. Regardless of the locals.

  9. bilbaoboy: do you have a reference for your EPA claim? NB I’m all for fracking, the ref would be a useful thing to have in other discussions.

  10. Bilbaoboy:

    Africa manages, time and again, to overpopulate, via breeding, whatever improvements have been effected in previous production + charitable assistance / population + population increase.

    Assistance (originating with governments and charities of the West) is of lesser significance with passage of time. Soon (and by “soon,” I mean before the century is half gone) African population will (barring catastrophic damage or disease) exceed that of the entire “rest of the world.”

  11. @bilbaoboy.
    Completely agree re African development. I despair of organisations like the World Bank creating barriers to investment in coal, gas or oil fired power generation in the third world in the name of Climate Change. I do however disagree with Tim that Carbon Taxes are the answer. They, like pan-european taxation without democratic representation, are just a solution looking for a (non-existant) problem to justify their introduction.

    BTW. Apologies for the mixed metaphors earlier. It’s a habit I can’t seem to get rid of.

  12. Roamer
    and apologies to Tim for the length

    This is from a report in 2015

    Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources (External Review Draft)

    This is from later than the reference I had and which was an answer to an enquiry specifically about aquifer pollution and when asked for a specific case couldn’t give one and which I cannot now find:
    Conclusions (from page 55 of lots and lots of pages)
    Through this national-level assessment, we have identified potential mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing could affect drinking water resources. Above ground mechanisms can affect surface and ground water resources and include water withdrawals at times or in locations of low water availability, spills of hydraulic fracturing fluid and chemicals or produced water, and inadequate treatment and discharge of hydraulic fracturing wastewater. Below ground mechanisms include movement of liquids and gases via the production well into underground drinking water resources and movement of liquids and gases from the fracture zone to these resources via pathways in subsurface rock formations.
    We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States. Of the potential mechanisms identified in this report, we found specific instances where one or more of these mechanisms led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells. The cases occurred during both routine activities and accidents and have resulted in impacts to surface or ground water. Spills of hydraulic fracturing fluid and produced water in certain cases have reached drinking water resources, both surface and ground water. Discharge of treated hydraulic fracturing wastewater has increased contaminant concentrations in receiving surface waters. Below ground movement of fluids, including gas, most likely via the production well, have contaminated drinking water resources. In some cases, hydraulic fracturing fluids have also been directly injected into drinking water resources, as defined in this assessment, to produce oil or gas that co-exists in those formations.
    The number of identified cases where drinking water resources were impacted are small relative to the number of hydraulically fractured wells.

    This could reflect a rarity of effects on drinking water resources, or may be an underestimate as a result of several factors. There is insufficient pre- and post-hydraulic fracturing data on the quality of drinking water resources. This inhibits a determination of the frequency of impacts. Other limiting factors include the presence of other causes of contamination, the short duration of existing studies, and inaccessible information related to hydraulic fracturing activities.
    My comment
    Nowhere does it say aquifers have been contaminated. It says drinking resources. Hmm. If deep-lying aquifers had been affected
    Reading between the lines, the problem (although small) is mainly on the surface and through lack of care. Certainly even they recognize that despite the volume of fracked wells, it is not a problem

  13. Roamer

    Remember, this the pre-Trump EPA. Note the liberal use of the conditional.

    Given the years that fracking has been going on and in a much more rudimentary form and despite wanting to, they found nothing.

    But no fracking because not green

  14. @bilbaoboy, December 14, 2017 at 10:10 am

    +1 On all posts.

    You win thread prize, esp on asking TW to stop his tax CO2 support.

    @TW trace gas CO2 is ~0.04% – almost nothing – of atmosphere; N ~80% & O ~20%

  15. @TW trace gas CO2 is ~0.04% – almost nothing – of atmosphere; N ~80% & O ~20%
    The key fact is that water vapor is, on average, ~1% of the atmosphere at the surface; 25 times as plentiful as CO2. Additionally, at the wavelengths of interest it is ~25 times as absorbent. Thus, about 600 times more effective as a greenhouse gas than CO2. You could quadruple the amount of CO2 and it would still be negligible. This is not just theory; Russian scientists have shown that 80% of the heat reflected from the earth is absorbed by water vapor in just the first 10 meters above the surface. There is literally almost nothing for CO2 to do.

  16. Now a deal has been struck to bring the debut cargo from Yamal to the Isle of Grain import terminal via a specially built ice-breaking tanker by the end of the month.

    That tanker being named Christophe de Margerie after the late Total CEO. What’s more important is that this is the first time gas has been exported outside of Russia by anyone other than Gazprom.

  17. Africa manages, time and again, to overpopulate, via breeding

    Mainly due to lack of power. There’s not much to do in a hut without power once the sun goes down, and in Africa that’s about 7pm.

  18. Thanks Pcar

    Happens when you get passionate about something. 🙂

    We had an exhibition at our local Guggenheim

    Diversity and vibrancy in the right place. What we saw was the potential of Africa; some of the shirts apart 🙂

    We have the obligation (and not a guilt-driven one but rather a positive humanistic/Christian one) to help them build on that until the flow reverses and we want to go there to enjoy it.

    They have a right to exploit their potential in their own countries.

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