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Go Fracking!

From our ever popular series, questions in The Guardian we can answer:

If Putin is using gas prices to fight Europe, how can it fight back?

Guess which option isn’t even mentioned by The Guardian?

20 thoughts on “Go Fracking!”

  1. If the existing widespread economic/financial sanctions against Russia and seizures of individual Russian assets aren’t “fighting back” then what are they?

  2. Ahh…

    It has been successfully memory holed in Austria, but there is sufficient shale gas under Poysdorf in Lower Austria to fuel the country for 30 years. So instead they pay rubles to Putin and will have to ration it this winter.
    Politicians eh ? They’re the same the world over.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    Otto,

    I saw a similar comment about the amount of gas available to Germany through fracking.

    It’s almost like political elites want to be strung up, although German politicians are probably safe. As Lenin is said to have noted – a revolution in Germany means waking on the grass.

  4. I saw a report yesterday that Norway are closing a gas fired power station. They are exporters of electricity and have lots of their own gas, (so not dependent on the damned Russkies) and this will simply reduce electricity supply to the rest of the European grid. They currently supply 20 – 25 of the gas used by the EU and UK, so it doesn’t appear that they need to cut their production to secure their own supply or provide the rest of us with additional gas.

    Am I mistakenly assuming Klaus and co are doing something nefarious again or is there a genuine reason?

  5. Similarly, there’s 300 years of coal underneath Lincolnshire. Yes, it’s deep deep coal, and was inaccessible with 1970s technology, so was never exploited, but it’s not the 1970s any more.

  6. @high

    Indeed.

    A quick look has the UK as having 77 million tons of proven coal reserves.

    A site called Euracoal cited 3.9 billion identified of hard coal, and perhaps a total reserve of 187 billion tons

    Of course, the former figure is what is “economic” under the current policies, dictats and prejudices.

    Ditto gas for fracking, possible tidal schemes, maybe a bit more hydro, not forgetting nuclear of course.

    This small island is basically swimming in available energy resources, as are a number of other european countries. What is available in places like the US or Australia boggles the mind.

    NEVER forget this when the next pompous lecture on why stagnation (AKA “sustainability”) is the only possible future.

  7. Of course, the former figure is what is “economic” under the current policies, dictats and prejudices.

    No, it is what is *proven* to be economic etc. And it costs tens of millions to prove each deposit.

  8. Transporting gas has a monetary AND carbon cost. In the case of LNG it takes about 20% of the gas to achieve the liquefaction and regassing. The main pipeline from Russia to Germany involves 26 compressor stations, which are fuelled by… you guessed it… gas.

    So even in sustainability terms importing gas from far away when there are sufficient reserves close at hand is just STUPID.

    The government responds to noisy lobbyists, they don’t think for themselves. It’s the environmentalists who need to be strung up.

  9. John – it’s UNSPORTING of the Russians to kick back against people who are deliberately trying to destroy their economy, overthrow their government, and kill their soldiers. Vladimir Putin is an evil dictator who wants to rule the world, but we’re surprised and outraged when he does predictable things such as retaliate against our sanctions.

    Ukraine and its allies are focused on tightening the existing panoply of sanctions rather than putting forward more radical proposals

    Is it lol. Ukraine has no agency whatsoever, they’re now 100% dependent on US money and instructions. ‘Ukraine’ as an independent political player doesn’t even real any more, it’s just Uncle Sam’s leprous hand in a crusty blue and yellow sock. Nobody who matters gives a toss about Ukraine or its opinion on sanctions, they’ll dump Kiev as quickly as they did Kabul the moment it suits them.

    Ukraine cannot but be nervous that the popular revolt of which Baerbock warned – before quickly regretting her choice of words – will mean support for the war erodes before a Ukrainian military counteroffensive can bolster it.

    Steiner’s division isn’t coming to save the day, because it doesn’t real either. Any man fit and willing to hold a rifle in Ukraine is already fighting the Russians – often courageously, but they’ve been losing since the start. Press-ganging the rest of the population isn’t likely to change the outcome, and neither is hastily training a few hundred (or even thousand) volunteers at NATO facilities. It’s just throwing more lives into a pit of sunk costs and blood-crazed Chechens. Ukraine needs a NATO brigade to change the weather, but that would mean WW3. Drip-feeding them weapons and false hopes is the cruelest foreign policy I’ve seen since Madeleine Albright was smirking at how many Iraqi children she helped kill.

    He claims, and hopes, the people of Milan and Berlin value the price of freedom in Europe over the price of gas.

    “Hans, why are we shivering in the dark while our jobs go overseas and our governments dream up new ways to permanently lower our living standards and repopulate our continent with Africans and Arabs?”

    “For freedom, Giuseppe. For freedom.”

    Europe has been scouring the world for alternative energy supplies from countries such as Nigeria, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iraq. The Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, previously persona non grata, was welcomed at the Élysée on Thursday. In the midst of the fall of his government, the Italian prime minister, Mario Draghi, found time to fly to Tangier, and EU officials went to Lagos to offer to improve security for gas installations. The German economic minister, Robert Habeck, bent the knee in Doha. Diplomacy has become a substratum of energy policy.

    Maybe we should have tried diplomacy with Russia instead of spending years laughing off their warnings about expanding NATO to their front door. Maybe we should try diplomacy now, instead of encouraging Ukranians to keep throwing men into the meat grinder in the fantastical hope that it’ll somehow reverse Russia’s gains even though Russia could simply send another few divisions in and start strategic bombing if they think they’re in danger of losing.

    Germany cannot afford the luxury of debating its past foreign policy mistakes. “In security policy, in our Russia policy, in our energy policy, we are at ground zero and have to start from scratch,” Walter Ischinger, the former German diplomat said on Thursday.

    I don’t think I trust in Germany’s self-righteous suicide. No, you Teutonic spastic, you don’t start from scratch, this isn’t Year Bloody Zero. You start from where you are now – Germany needs affordable energy, yesterday. Get fracking like your livelihoods depend on it (they do). Collect every scrap of coal you can find, and burn it in the winter. Get nuclear back on the menu, pronto. Round up the Green lunatics and jail them for subversion. Introduce everybody who has ever advocated “Net Zero” or “Great Reset” to the lions.

    None of this will prevent the Winter of Hell, but it’s a step towards a solution. Alternately, they can just talk fantasy bollocks until the newly impoverished and enraged population of Europe finds the key to Simba’s enclosure at Berlin zoo:

    Michael McFaul, the former US ambassador to Russia and now part of an international working group on sanctions, is bullish that they are working, despite a rise in the ruble, lower interest rates, and banks awash with cash. He points out that sanctions on Iran started in 2010 and it took until 2015 for Tehran to be pressured into agreeing a deal on nuclear nonproliferation.

    Imagine touting Iran – whose nuclear agreement has been dead for years, which is now best pals with Russia and China (and their former deadly enemies in Iraq) – as a foreign policy “success”. Embarrassing.

  10. ‘sufficient shale gas under Poysdorf in Lower Austria to fuel the country for 30 years’

    Otto, I’m sure I remember a Hitler quote, in which he is supposed to have said that there was plenty of oil shale in Austria, but it was too late (1944?) to try to start producing the stuff now.

  11. Re Steve

    Americas cruel foreign policy. Madeiline Albright then, Victoria Nuland now.

    Oops. No noticing comrades

  12. Maybe we should have tried diplomacy with Russia instead of spending years laughing off their warnings about expanding NATO to their front door.

    You really don’t know much bout Russians do you, Steve? There’s an awful lot of them would rather Russia’s western frontiers didn’t exist. That’s pretty well all of European Russia & the cities of the east. They’ve had a taste of western lifestyles & they like them. They want to be us. It’s why Putin’s having to do his recruiting out in the eastern boonies & in the southern fringe. It’s Moscow politicians worried about NATO on their doorstep. Russians would like McDonalds, Ikea & Primark.

  13. The Government cannot advocate fracking because the ecoloons will scream and scream and the BBC will abet them. The plods will exsort the terrorists and prevent the blocked motorists applying some logic with bats.

    However. After 6 months of your free trial of Net Zero, coming this winter, it will be a different story.
    After 6 months of blackouts, no heating, massive factory closures and job losses, and empty shops without any tills anyway, any ecoloon prepared to oppose fracking will be rapidly removed. The danger will be preventing excess authority being entrenched, stasi style.

    But the public will back anyone and any measure by that stage.
    It’s not as if there haven’t been prior lessons.

    And in EU especially Germany, it will be far worse.

    Oh, and don’t expect the phones to work: mobile networks and the ‘new improved’ landlines are all dependent upon grid power. Most mobile cell sites have battery back up of only minutes. Central database sites may have diesel for 2 days, but then, how do you get the fuel tanker there through miles of roadblocks filled with freezing people?

    Mad Max atleast was in the warm.

  14. “None of this will prevent the Winter of Hell, but it’s a step towards a solution. Alternately, they can just talk fantasy bollocks until the newly impoverished and enraged population of Europe finds the key to Simba’s enclosure at Berlin zoo:”

    The entire Western political system now consists of people talking utter bollocks. The further away from reality the better.

    The NHS is failing? It must be because we haven’t thrown enough money into its bottomless pit.

    People are still catching covid left right and centre, and are dying at unprecedented rates? We aren’t interested in that, and whatever the cause its 100% definitely nothing to do with Covid vaccines. And anyone who mentions it must be shut up sharpish.

    We are running out of energy? Build more wind turbines and solar farms, and close all the other sensible sources of energy.

    Food is becoming less available and more expensive? Lets berate farmers for producing food and tell them they need to grow trees and rewild their farms instead.

    House prices keep going up and up? Lets prevent people from building houses where they are needed and import hundreds of thousands of people every year.

  15. Boganboy

    The oil fields in Austria were in the Soviet zone and they wasted no time in exploiting the source. The fields are still producing but not much now. I vaguely recall that the Zistersdorf field was producing a million tons a year at its height.

  16. The old shale oil fields in West Lothian: is there any frackable gas deeper down?

    Come to that is there any shale oil left that might be exploited profitably?

  17. ‘If the existing widespread economic/financial sanctions against Russia and seizures of individual Russian assets aren’t “fighting back” then what are they?’

    They are shooting yourself in the foot.

  18. . . . it’s UNSPORTING of the Russians to kick back against people who are deliberately trying to destroy their economy, overthrow their government, and kill their soldiers.

    Dunno, there’s just the sneaking feeling that there’s something missing in this appraisal.

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