19 January 2015 - UK shale gas disappointment
UK's shale gas revolution falls flat with just 11 new wells planned for 2015
Adam Vaughan (The Guardian)
The UK government’s planned shale gas revolution has barely got out of the starting blocks with just 11 new exploratory wells for shale gas and oil due to be drilled this year even before the impact of plunging oil prices has fully begun to impact on the industry.
David Cameron has said the government is going “all out for shale” but just a handful of new wells are in line to be created in 2015 and just nine wells – eight new and one existing – have been announced as candidates for fracking.
Professor Jim Watson, research director at the UK Energy Research Centre and author of a recent report on the potential for shale gas in the UK, said that statements by politicians on shale gas’s potential had been speculative.
“Given the low number of wells that have been drilled in the UK, and the very low level of experience of shale gas production here, it is far too early to say how much shale gas could be produced.... The prime minister’s statement that shale could provide gas for the UK ‘perhaps for as long as 30 years’ is therefore very speculative and optimistic,” said Watson.
Damian Carrington (The Guardian)
Robert Sanderson, a strapping dairy farmer, is standing in his muddy yard. He is in tears. Sanderson’s family and his Lancashire farm have, thanks to geological chance, ended up on the frontline of fracking in the UK.
“I’ve never wanted to do anything but farm,” says Sanderson, part of the third generation of his family to farm near Kirkham. “All my young lad dreams about is farming. Last night he said to me, ‘When I grow up I want to have the biggest tractor in the world’. How can they just take away generations of work? It’s not bloody fair.”
Sanderson is intensely proud of his prize-winning cattle, but fears pollution from planned shale gas exploration nearby will harm his children and poison his 400 acres. The issue has also split his family. His mother’s sister and her husband own the land near Roseacre on which the fracking company Cuadrilla wants to drill and have agreed to allow the work to take place.
Staff (BBC News)
The Environment Agency (EA) has granted energy firm Cuadrilla a permit to frack at one of its sites in Lancashire.
The environmental permit is required by the firm before it can extract shale gas at its proposed site at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton.
The county council will make a final decision on Cuadrilla's planning application to frack at the Plumpton site and at Roseacre Wood this month.
Residents Against Fylde Fracking said it was "disappointed" by the news.
Cuadrilla, which is waiting for a similar permit for its Roseacre Wood site from the EA, said the granting of the permit was "an important seal of approval".
Chief executive Frances Egan said: "People should take a lot of reassurance with the thoroughness that the EA has put into this that it can be done in an environmentally responsible way."
Libby Brooks (The Guardian)
Campaigners in Scotland believe a series of imminent decisions could force the SNP government to come off the fence on fracking.
This week SNP MPs will have an opportunity to vote on an amendment to the infrastructure bill, a proposed moratorium on fracking, which Friends of the Earth Scotland argues will be a crucial test of intent. And in the next few weeks, the only active application in Scotland – for coal-bed methane extraction at Airth, near Falkirk – will land on Scottish government ministers’ desks for a final decision.
Last week, the UK government agreed to exclude Scotland from the bill, which removes the rights of householders to object to drilling under their homes, following cross-party opposition from Scottish parties. This was done in the expectation that publication later this week of draft clauses of the new Scotland bill will include Smith Commission recommendations to devolve onshore licensing and mineral access rights, which Scottish Labour believes should be fast-tracked before the general election.
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"19 January 2015 - UK shale gas disappointment", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), janvier 2015. Consulté le 26/02/2024. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2015/19-january-2015-uk-shale-gas-disappointment