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Shale Gas will transform Britain

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Shale Gas will transform Britain

Post  Panda on Thu 4 Jul - 7:22

Home»Earth»EnergyWhy a bet on shale gas will transform Britain
Forget the scare stories - we can cut carbon emissions and boost our economic fortunes

Green for go: Britain has the engineering, health, safety and environmental expertise to develop shale resources safely Photo: Alamy
By Francis Egan
7:35PM BST 03 Jul 2013
62 Comments
The Government last week published the British Geological Survey’s estimate of 1,300 trillion cu ft of natural gas stored within the shale rock deep beneath northern England. It is becoming clearer that the potential to transform our energy provision lies underneath our feet.

If only 10 per cent of northern England’s shale resources can be extracted, that would meet the UK’s current gas demand for more than 40 years. And at today’s prices, it would have a market value of almost £1 trillion, without considering the gas and oil deposits elsewhere in the country.

Some people argue we should generate more electricity using renewables instead of falling back on fossil fuels. After all, the Government has confirmed that renewables’ share of generation (around 9.6 per cent) will continue to grow. Decarbonising electricity generation is a key part of our energy policy.

But electricity generation accounts for only about a third of UK gas consumption. The remaining two thirds is taken up in heating our homes, firing our cookers and fuelling industry. So even if all our electricity demand could be generated without gas we would, without domestic shale gas, increasingly rely on expensive and potentially insecure imported gas. Clearly, gas and renewables will both form part of our energy mix for a long time to come.

There are other compelling reasons for us to be exploring for and developing shale gas. First, as a nation, we need sustained economic growth, the key to which is job creation. Britain’s recent performance in this regard, particularly for young people, has been very poor. However, in a recent report, the Institute of Directors predicts that shale gas development could create 74,000 new jobs, spanning geology, drilling, accounting, IT, and construction.

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Second, communities will benefit financially. The prospect of them receiving £100,000 for every exploration well site that is hydraulically fractured, in addition to one per cent of revenues from future shale gas production, is fantastic news. More than £1 billion over a 20 to 30-year production period could be returned to Lancastrian communities in the Bowland Basin licence area alone.

The third point is that shale gas will make a major contribution to the Exchequer. In real terms, Deloitte estimates tax revenues from North Sea production will decline from £11.2 billion in 2011-12 to £3.7 billion in 2017-18. Onshore gas production could fill that gap, providing money to pay for health care, education, defence and other public services.

Predictions of production sites proliferating across densely populated areas are wide of the mark. Within 20 to 30 years, a successful Lancashire development could have up to 100 production sites in commercial operation across 1,200 square km. But put them together, these sites – each the size of a football pitch – would cover a total area of two sq km. After drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations are finished, each site would only contain a few low-rise processing facilities, together with valves and pipes inside units the size of post boxes, with the site screened by trees.

Of course, not everyone shares our belief about the potential of shale gas, but as long as the debate involves scientific data, that’s fine with us. There’s no place for ill-founded assertions about industrialisation, major earthquakes, contaminated drinking water or cancer, to name just some of the outcomes we hear propagated as “inevitable”. Britain has the engineering, health, safety and environmental expertise, together with a robust regulatory framework, to develop shale resources safely. To suggest that as a country we are incapable of doing this and must rely on the Middle East, Russia, North Africa or elsewhere to supply our gas is ill-judged.

We should also be wary of an artificial split between shale gas and renewables. Together, they represent the best opportunity we have to bring down the UK’s carbon emissions while maintaining competitiveness. There is little evidence from the US that shale gas undermines the case for investment in renewables, as long as the government and the electorate want them.

We need to demolish unfounded scare stories and tackle red tape so as to generate long-lasting benefits for the UK through the safe and responsible extraction of shale gas. Let’s start by stripping away guesswork, so we can understand exactly how much gas stored in shale rocks thousands of feet underground can be recovered.

Right now, we are on the verge of a historic opportunity to transform the UK’s energy supplies and economic fortunes for decades to come. Success means a stronger Britain, with better opportunities for our children, and lasting economic and environmental benefits for all.

Francis Egan is chief executive of Cuadrilla Resources

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Re: Shale Gas will transform Britain

Post  Lioned on Thu 4 Jul - 11:50

Boris is going to blow up London with his fracking stupid ideas to get shale gas.Now we are starting to see his master plan take shape.... 

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Re: Shale Gas will transform Britain

Post  malena stool on Fri 5 Jul - 9:15

Just 40 or so years back we were almost completely independent of any foreign supplies of fuel or energy of any kind... Thatcher and her bully boy Tory backed police force destroyed our Mining industry and its associated jobs. With it went our coal gas manufacture and supply industry all under the promise of clean, sustainable and cheap natural fuel for industry and domestic use. Our own gas and oilfields around our coast were going to make us self sufficient and there would be cheap fuel for all... Ho bloody ho! Our petrol prices were stable for years at about 4/4d - 4/8d about (23p) per gallon, nowadays we are paying in the region of £6.75p per gallon and that's in supermarkets with special offers in force...

The years since have shown not only her and her party to be liars and speculators, but also New Labour have joined into the great British fossil fuel con.

Shale gas will not transform Britain. Shale gas will put yet more money into the pockets of politicians and their entrepreneur friends, under the pretence of doing the right thing for the people and the planet.

Quote
Britain has the engineering, health, safety and environmental expertise, together with a robust regulatory framework, to develop shale resources safely.

Unquote.


What a load of complete and utter tish.... All our heavy manufacturing industries have all gone abroad, not for 'Green' reasons, simply for cheap labour to do our jobs at knock-down prices. We simply no longer have the knowledge nor depth of skills remaining in our country to do these tasks. Nor do we have the financial backing, every project nowadays is financed by foreign money.



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Re: Shale Gas will transform Britain

Post  Panda on Fri 5 Jul - 9:44


Your'e right malena , Britain is fast becoming a 3rd World Country and the latesrt news that MP's can claim for their children,s expenses is quite disgusting, have they no shame.!!!


As for shale gas, with all the troubles in the Middle East it might be the only source of energy we can rely on. I know there is concern about it, but the US is confident it is safe, some European Countries are considering it , if they could re-open the mines there was enough coal to last 300 years...have to get the Scientists to make it smokeless though.

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Re: Shale Gas will transform Britain

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