Drilling set to begin in British shale

From UPI

Cuadrilla Resources says its drilling rig is on site and ready to tap into a natural gas basin in Lancashire.

By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   July 28, 2017 at 8:14 AM

Drilling is set to begin in a British shale natural gas basin, where Cuadrilla Resources said there is no precedent in the country. Photo courtesy of Cuadrilla Resources

 

July 28 (UPI) — With its drilling rig on site, a British shale gas explorer said it expects to address offshore production declines with onshore operations by year’s end.

Cuadrilla Resources said the drilling rig used to tap wells at a shale basin have arrived at their destination in Lancashire.

 

“With the decline of North Sea gas and our ever increasing reliance on gas imports, including shale gas imported from the United States, developing an indigenous source of natural gas is critical for U.K. energy security, our economy, jobs and the environment,” Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan said in a statement. “We are proud as a Lancashire company to be at the forefront of that effort.”

The British government estimates shale basins in the country may hold more than 1.3 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas, a level the government said could help an economy with natural gas imports on pace to increase from 45 percent of demand in 2011 to 76 percent by 2030.

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132 thoughts on “Drilling set to begin in British shale

  1. good luck with that…

    all sections of the UK population are against shale drilling (and this is only another test rig, not a production unit)

      • Mark, I am not paid, not employed by any entity which relates to climate or renewables and not a member of any political party or organisation or lobby.

        I’m a private individual, with an interest in climate. Just like the man who set this website up.

        Now, let’s have some counter arguments from you and no name calling and unfounded allegation, if you please.

      • Griff just stop and think for one second , do you honestly believe everyone in Britain gives a crap about fracking or are you going to barter it down a bit .
        You tell one lie after another mate give it up no ones listening .

      • “unfounded allegation, ”

        That is all you have , griff..

        You just make up baseless nonsense, and then say people should prove you wrong.

        Oh look… a pink elephant with purple dots !!

    • Relax, Griffie, In spite of all the wailing and gnashing of teeth, shale oil and gas production has gone on with minimal impact here in the states.

      • Great point, since those first stories some years ago regarding tainted water wells from fracking waste I note there have been no further claims of water contamination, despite the substantial increase in drilling rigs over the last decade.

      • …And the Fylde doesn’t get its water supply from anywhere that would be potentially affected by fracking.
        They have also long had a British Nuclear Fuels site in the area, so are not easily frightened.

        This is in proper Northern England. Most of my maternal relatives are living, or buried, nearby and would welcome some strong economic growth that fracking could provide. If the area lives up to even a fraction of it’s potential, Cuadrilla could gain a lot of political capital by promising to fund part of, say, a Fracking Engineering Department at the nearby University of Central Lancashire in Preston. These companies really do need to realise what they are up against, and start meeting and beating the enviro-wackos in the public relations arena.

      • That’s not how it is represented here.

        And the UK is a densely populated country, with different rules on where you can mine/drill and different environmental protection rules.

        The biggest issue for many is likely to be the amount of heavy trucks needed by a fracking site, on UK’s crowded narrow roads.

      • Have you ever been there, Griff? Population density is low. Distance to the M62 motorway is short, and a parallel rail line already exists. Nowhere is ever going to be perfect (especially for local residents) but this is about as good as it gets in the UK.

      • re the roads, hes right
        today i was pushed OFF the rd by the escorts of a bastard wind turbine!
        small one car wide bitumen that cars have to “share”
        ie we slow down and run one side on the dirt
        normally thats ok
        however its been raining here for the last 2 weeks pretty much
        so when they literally forced me off even the tiny bit of bitumen fully onto the very wet muddy verge…
        yeah
        if I didnt have attitude and 4wd id still bloody be there!! cos they gave not a shit!!
        windturbines being placed near Nhill in Victoria Aus
        see why so many birds meet their maker fn huge mongrels
        i was laughing the other week
        masses of trees all on the rural backroads like i was on have been savagely pruned to allow the things to travel,
        and using backroads keeps them hidden.
        no one round here knew they were putting them into Nhill
        and we do get wind..at the moment galeforce and nasty
        but
        for a full time turbine?
        i doubt that a LOT!

    • Griff

      “all sections of the UK population are against shale drilling”

      That is a lie Griff, because I’m all for it, and so is anyone else I know. So “all” sections of the UK population are NOT against it.

    • From the Telegraph newspaper October 2016

      “The University of Nottingham, which has been monitoring UK attitudes to shale gas exploration since 2012, said its latest polling showed that 41.1pc of those who knew what shale gas was were opposed to it, with only 37.3pc in favour.

      “For the first time in the history of our survey more people are against than in favour of shale gas extraction with the differential now standing at -3.8pc,” it said.

      In round terms it was about 50-50 back end of last year. Not sure what it is now.

      • “John Hardy August 10, 2017 at 1:18 pm

        latest polling showed that 41.1pc of those who knew what shale gas was”

        When they start adding in subjective “qualifiers”, the data is fudged till they resulted in the results desired.

        Just as the alleged percentage of alleged climate scientists is used as justification for consensus.

        Install the LNG wells, reduce the price of heat and electricity, provide substantial feed stock for quality plastics; then ask the people what they think of plentiful inexpensive LNG supplies.

        Sell LNG supplies to Europe, use LNG as a bargaining chip for Brexit agreements, lower taxes and improve the health services; then run another honest poll, not the eco-loon flim flammery.

      • and the results from that same poll this month were even lower…

        Government research finds drastic drop in people backing drilling for shale gas since the study was launched in 2012

    • Fracking has been practised for over 50 years. Today much of all oil drilling uses the same principles too, yet there it is accepted. it is safe and has been shown to be so in many countries. We need the gas and its availability helps prevent the sorts of crises that are developing in Europe which is increasingly getting its gas from Russia. Yes, controls are needed – just as with any sort of drilling but one wonders how the objectors would react today if we did not heat our houses or cook our meals by gas and it was only now being suggested that we should pipe flammable gas under our streets and into homes for untrained people to light and use. Then they should reflect that the original gas as piped into homes was (unlike today’s gas) highly poisonous as well as explosive.

      • Formation fracturing was invented after the US civil war for increasing flow in water wells. They used gunpowder and later dynamite. When oil and gas production got underway, it was used for that. They developed a method called torpedoing a well using nitroglycerine. Fracturing this way continued until the late1960s.

        The first hydraulic fracturing was done on a well in the Hugoton gas field in Kansas in 1947. Improvements including horizontal drilling, multistage fracturing, etc has continued to the present day.

        The complaints against it arose only when developments made it clear in the new millennium that peak o &G was over. Greens thought before that, that these fuels were dying of their own Accord and concentrated their efforts against coal and “dеаth trains”.

        I wrote a detailed economic report under contract for Roskill Information Services [roskill. com] in 2015 on the N American frack sand and fracking industry.

    • I’ll feed the troll.

      This sort of assertion, “all section of the UK population”, is arrogant and ignorant. I suppose the Griff would have us believe that he know well the UK population and takes its pulse on a regular basis.

      I suspect that many “sections of the UK” population don’t even know what fracking is. If they do, they just know it as word, and know nothing about it. The propaganda of the left (with likely Russian and Saudi money to help it) will try to spread the meme that all right thinking people should be against this evil practice.

      Here in the US, our fossil fuel prices have gotten so low that I can tell you that we who have the most fracking in the world are loving it, even those people who say they hate it.

      Just so much leftist propaganda. Thank God for you know who.

      • Griff is eminently qualified to comment. He belongs to “all section of the UK population”. Depending on the day of the week,

      • I’ve just added the results of a poll above.

        Official polls show a continuing decline in support for fracking.

        (The town I stayed in on holiday has signs up ‘A no fracking town’… not uncommon in local communities UK wide)

      • Griff

        “I’ve just added the results of a poll above.”

        And if you bothered to read the entire article you would realise that various polls give wildly varying results, including home owners polled: “When participants were asked if they would be for or against fracking if it reduced energy bills, 32% said they would be in favour and 31% against. Over-55s were the most likely to be in favour of fracking if it reduced bills (36%).”

        Deducing, that when the question “Do you support fracking” is used without qualification, the immediate, ignorant, knee jerk reaction is to condemn it.

        But when qualified with the benefits it brings, the complexion of the polls rapidly change.

      • Griff,

        “(The town I stayed in on holiday has signs up ‘A no fracking town’… not uncommon in local communities UK wide)”

        I live in the UK and I have never seen a sign like this. As these signs are “not uncommon in local communities UK wide” can you please enlighten me with examples from 30 different counties. As there are c. 100 counties in the UK I am sure that will be easy for you to do.

      • “(The town I stayed in on holiday has signs up ‘A no fracking town’… not uncommon in local communities UK wide)”

        ANOTHER LIE!
        I do many thousands of miles every year and I’ve never seen one yet, nor has anyone else of my acquaintance, some of whom are professional drivers.

      • “I’ve just added the results of a poll above.

        Official polls show a continuing decline in support for fracking.”

        So we’ve gone from all sections of British society to polls showing a decline , a recent poll said 97% of scientists believe in the consensus , a poll in the USA said Hillary would walk it in .
        As you know your masters would like you to believe all polls that fit your ideology but polls can be and are unreliable .

    • Simply not true – most people I know are keen to see fracking started ASAP. Yes there’s been a vociferous minority grabbing the headlines on the BBC (who appear only to happy to give them airtime) , but many here view them with suspicion. You might also be interested to hear that the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) ruled the Friends of The Earth’s leaflet on the risks of fracking was full of inaccurate and misleading claims and should be withdrawn.

      • Roy,
        “Friends of The Earth’s leaflet on the risks of fracking was full of inaccurate and misleading claims”
        Surely not??!!
        Exemplars of truth, honesty and a devotion to the best thing for humankind – except only the – at most – 10% of humankind that the watermelons see in their ideal Planet earth 2050/2100.
        The rest of us have to go away quietly and expire.

        Auto

    • Good news is that someone is getting oil separated from coal. This means that nasty black stuff will be here to pollute our planet for at least another 2,800 years at prices lower than that electric car stuff.

    • No we are not. I do not know a single person where I live that is opposed to this. We even want the exploration of the north downs started up again to get the oil.

    • Rubbish, as a UK citizen I can assure you there are huge numbers in favour of it. Where I live in Dorset the locals are used to living alongside oil production and have no fear of rigs. In the areas where the new drilling is to take place there are active pro fracking groups taking on the loony green liars and doom mongers.
      The greens know that once this has started and the local residents see there is no problem then it will become unstoppable.

      • Not to mention the jobs. The fracking industry generates a lot of energy infrastructure building to actually make it work.

    • I am a section of the British public and i am not against shale.
      In fact I am in the majority who say “About chuffing time”.

    • I regularly drive along Preston New Road near Woodplumpton where the drilling platform is being constructed and I can tell you that there is only one section of the UK population that is protesting against energy security and they are dyed-in-the-wool greenies. They are camped on the opposite pavement in their man-made fibre tents. They wear man-made fibre clothes, carry man-made fibre rucksacks and wave man-made fibre banners. I would say that makes them either stupid or hypocrites.

      This road is a busy artery that runs between Blackpool and Preston and the area near the Cuadrilla site has become a bottleneck because of “protesters” ambling across the road to deliberately stop or slow the traffic in the name of Gaia’s tears. The police presence is oppressive, tying up a vital resource at great public expense in order to keep the protesters from a) stopping Cuadrilla going about its legal business and b) causing tailbacks and hampering locals travelling from A to B. It was much worse until the police stopped the greenies lying down in the carriageway in order to bring traffic to a halt and tell people it was all Cuadrilla’s fault and please honk your horn if you support us.

      We are bid to honk our horns in protest. People don’t because all sections of the population are not against drilling, just the ones who don’t realise that if plastic and the stuff it’s created from were to be banned tomorrow the world would be in a very sorry state. The greenies would be stark bollock naked and wet because we’ve had a rather rainy summer this year.

      We need energy security to as far as I’m concerned we should drill, baby, drill!

    • Have a look at anti-fracking Greenpeace posts on facebook.
      They are annihilated in the comments by facts and reason.
      Last time I looked through the comment I found, reassuringly that 90% of the top comments were from fracking supporters who had failed to drink the anti-fracking Kool-Aid.
      Such people are the silent majority by my own assessment.
      They don’t have any desire to protest outside parliament.
      But they are sick of being lied to by the BBC and its NGO provided expert idiots.
      Not many people are duped by the “earthquakes” and “flammable tap water” nonsense.
      Anyone who takes a serious interest can see these memes debunked with little effort within minutes.

      • There I was, a-diggin’ this ‘ole
        ‘Ole in the ground, so big and sort o’ round it was
        And there was I, diggin’ it deep
        It was flat at the bottom and the sides were steep
        When along comes this bloke in a bowler
        Which he lifted and scratched his ‘ead
        Woooh, he looked down the ‘ole
        Poor demented soul and he said

        “Do you mind if I make a suggestion?

        Don’t dig there, dig it elsewhere
        Your digging it round and it ought to be square
        The shape of it’s wrong, it’s much too long
        And you can’t put hole where a hole don’t belong”

        I ask, what a liberty, eh?
        Nearly bashed him right in the bowler

    • It seems prescient now.
      And how about Hendrix:
      “I have lived here before, the days of ice,
      And of course this is why I’m so concerned,
      And I come back to find the stars misplaced
      and the smell of a world that has burned”.

  2. Expect a major effort by anti-fracking propagandists in the UK. There are reports in the US Congress on Putin and friends financing some of the anti-fracking groups, which has had a lot less press coverage than purported Russian interference in the US election.

    • Tom Halla

      They don’t need any support from Putin, look at CND at Faslane. For years the nutty unemployable camped out there. Just because they had nothing else to do.

      • Nah – they were doubtlessly funded by the Kremlin.
        Although – they were so cheap to buy, that nobody will ever discover that money trail.
        The entire project probably cost less than one million dollars.
        Once the ball was rolling then I expect that it self-funded.
        “Even comrade Andropov could not have believed that this would have been so successful”.
        To paraphrase.

      • indefatigablefrog

        Had you ever witnessed the state of the woebegone crowd of dirty, bedraggled hippies that occupied the CND camp you would realise there was no funding.

        Faslane is one of the safest places on the planet to live. If there was a nuclear war, it would be my destination of choice in the UK. Quite apart from anything else, during a nuclear war, all the submarines serviced there would be at sea and their supply source of choice would probably be in the US.

        So what would be the point of hurling nuclear ordnance at an empty base? Apart from which, it is so well defended that any chance of a nuclear missile from Russia or China actually reaching it is remote in the extreme.

        Faslane is one of the best monitored places on the planet. The necessity for, and the the likelihood of, a successful nuclear strike against it are almost zero.

  3. Hopefully there are no major mishaps that could lead to groundwater issues or other environmental problems. I can only expect that there are vested interests in maintaining the current supply lines of natural gas, and this is potentially destabilizing to those interests. One would expect that they would use any means necessary to oppose any competition to their current advantage. Although it will easily be exposed for the hypocrisy that it is if it’s coming from those already using fracking to produce the very commodity they are currently exporting to the UK.

    • We will of course hear the same gibberish talked about fracking as is said about man-made climate change. No doubt the slightest problems will be blown out of all proportion, the same way that planetary temperatures are to try to prove an unproven theory.

  4. I read the news today, oh boy
    Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
    And though the holes were rather small
    They had to count them all

    Sorry, somebody had to do it…

  5. If the government estimate of shale basin potential is as accurate as the US ‘official estimates’ were in the early days, then they probably have 10x more.

    • Rg, the increased US TRR estimates have more to do with ongoing technology improvement than with initial geological guestimates. For example, with plug and perf multiple fracking plus more proppant loading, recovery factors in the Marcellus have gone from 10-12% to over 20% in just 3 years. Whether the Bowland is economic remains to be seen. There was great hope for Poland, shales, and it turned out zilch.

      • No, the Bakken Formation was a complete miss on the part of TRR estimates. Just ask Harold Hamm. The resource is defined by industry data not the statistical models that have no underlying facts on the front end. Also, Poland was a dud on the part of those duds who missed it completely in the first place in the prolific basins. They were just trying to make up for their deep sleep mistakes with some leaps to other countries. That means they screwed up twice.

      • Rg, Hamms estimates are wildly optomistic for stock purposes. The ~2008-9 Bakken TRR by North Dakota was ~3.5 BbblTrr, and IIRC the USGS was ~3.8 Bbbl. By including better recovery factors and the underlying Middle Forks as part of Bakken (a correct geological interpretation IMO) the revised 2014 North Dakota estimate was ~7.3 and the revised USGS was 8.1. NOT Hamm’s crazy >20. Have written this and related examples up in several energy storage essays in ebook Blowing Smoke.

      • Spot on Rivistan!
        It gets interesting when / if they get get a good test & good decline curve – then we will know if there is something to fight about

    • I wrote a detailed report on fracking and the frack sand (‘proppants’) industry [natural, coated and manufactured ceramic sand] in N. America in 2015 under contract for Roskill Information Services (Roskill.com), a UK company that consults internationally in mineral commodities, market studies and the like. It seems a little pricey but is intended for industry.

      One of my conclusions was that, despite the banning of the practice in Europe and climate hysteria, the prize was far too valuable for them to resist and fracking would spread around the world. I also have an oil price projection and prediction of the ‘commoditization’ of oil and gas, future consolidation of the frack sand industry and other goodies in it. Hopefully they will come back to me for an international edition in the near future some of these things coming to pass.

      • GP, would be interested in a guest post on your fracked sand analysis. My interest comes from owning a SW Wisconsin dairy farm, being an avid outdoorsman, and the Wisconsin Dept. Natural Resources (hunting, fishing, logging, mining) takes on the Wisconsin sand country (central part of the state) impacts of all the frack sand mines that have opened the past decade. Know the following. Angular sand grains like along the SE coast of Lake Michigan deposited by the last glaciation scour are good foundry sand. And weathered rounded grains like from Wisconsin’s Sand Country are good proppants. Hope I haven’t got that esoteric sand fact backwards.

      • don’t see what eggs have got to do with this – or the EU has to do with the egg scandal.

        The eggs happened to be from an EU country but that’s irrelevant. Could have been eggs from US exported to Canada and it wouldn’t have been down to US govt action/involvement

      • Griff

        “It is banned entirely in some EU countries.”

        Is that some sort of appeal to concencus?

      • Brexit., griff.

        No-one in their right mind would bother about what is and isn’t banned in EU countries. !!

      • Rud, probably you will miss this reply. You are right, frac sand is rounded variety. Foundry sand is preferred subangular but fine grades should be rounded to subrounded for greater permeability.

      • “It is banned entirely in some EU countries.”

        Well, it’s a damn good job we’re leaving the EUSSR then isn’t it Skanky?

        Tell us, have you apologised to Dr. Crockford for lying about her professional qualifications yet, you mendacious little troll?

  6. This is good news. Been following Cuadrilla for a couple of years. The first test well always provides a lot of new local information. TOC, porosity, permeability, extent of natural shale autofracturing and fissuring, brine content… They will drill 3500 meters down to near the shale top and then core the entire depth of the Bowland shale for local geophysical analysis. They also have to identiy an over or underlying porous formation for any production salt water reinjection. If they follow US Marcellus practice, the first ~350 meters of the vertical bore will be double cased/cemented to insure no freshwater acquifer consequences. Then they will reenter the well with a hydraulic steerable drill system, turn horizontal into the Bowland, and the plan is to drill and frack two test laterals. Have not announced how long. In US, common is a minimum of a mile, and frequently two miles, with a multiple plug and perf frack job on each. They should know whether the resulting gas flow is economic early next year. If so, they will have to build a pipeline gathering system plus gas cleanup (stripping CO2 and NGL) to existing nat gas pipeline infrastructure before production can commence. So production would still be some time off. Planning permission is for 4 wells of the one pad, which depending on Bowland details could support many laterals depending on vertical and horizontal lateral spacing.
    As for antifrackers, a UK court just said that further interference would be treated as criminal subject to prison time.

    • Ristvan,

      “As for antifrackers, a UK court just said that further interference would be treated as criminal subject to prison time.”

      I wrote an article that was considered for publishing in WUWT (it wasn’t published because looking back, it was far too light on certain aspects, I may resubmit) which was about the function of UK courts.

      It kind of went along the lines that US courts are subject to political influence, whereas UK courts aren’t. UK courts hold the government to account but US courts are accountable to the politicians (crude, sorry, but there was more detail in my article).

      My contention was that the UK court system always acts in the best interest’s of of a potential victim. I used the tragic case of Charlie Gard as an example, where the courts acted as the voice of a blind, deaf, mute baby with a catastrophic brain condition who was likely in pain but unable to cry, or even shed a tear.

      The case was roundly condemned in the US by pro life campaigners used to a politically biased court system.

      In the fracking case, the courts acted in the best interest of the almost voiceless majority who care about every member of our community having access to energy in the face of minority pressure groups, by whose diktat we all seem to exist these days.

      My suggestion was, being that UK courts are independent from political influence, the case of AGW ought to be presented to them for consideration instead of it being heard by politically biased, and financially influenced, US Congressional hearings.

      Although I have no idea how that would be done.

      • Please polish up and resubmit as a possible guest post. As a nonpracticing but licensed US lawyer, would find it a worthwhile read. Know that US and UK law have common law in common, but departures started in 1789.

      • And Scotland has it’s criminal law, based on common law, not statute……roughly speaking :)

        However, my opinions are not based on educated opinion, merely my observations, cos I aint edjacated.

        But I’ll have a think and see if I can do better in my presentation to CTM.

      • “HotScot August 10, 2017 at 1:42 pm

        It kind of went along the lines that US courts are subject to political influence, whereas UK courts aren’t.

        My contention was that the UK court system always acts in the best interest’s of of a potential victim.”

        I find this hard to believe given one is innocent until proven guilty in law. So, it’s down to the victim, with support of the law, to prove guilt. But yes, the two countries do have different systems. I would class the system in the US as a legal system, rather than law and justice, where the party with the deeper pockets likely wins.

      • Patrick MJD

        That’s fair comment, and I shouldn’t have said that as it wasn’t my point. In the case of Charlie Gard, he was the voiceless victim between the medical fraternity and his parents. In this case he was a victim of circumstance and to all intents and purposes, the courts heard the case on his behalf.

        In most other cases, there is no such thing as a victim, until the court determines the specifics of the case and passes judgement. Only then can a victim be identified.

        In the case of AGW, the public are presented as victims of CO2 derived AGW by the alarmists, yet no one has proven, empirically, that CO2 raises the temperature of the planet. So as yet, there are no victims, principally because there is no cause of global warming conclusively identified.

        But the courts would be acting in the public interest by hearing the evidence from both sides and deciding if the public are victims of CO2 caused global warming, or whether they are victims of a campaign by alarmists to promote the concept.

        In either case, much like Charlie Gard, the public are victims as they will suffer the consequences of any actions undertaken, or not, relative to GW. And like Charlie’s case, contrary to my earlier statement, a victim can be identified before the outcome of the case.

        In the case of global warming, it is the voiceless and largely ignorant (relative to global warming) global community who are victims. What we are being told is that CO2 is bad for us, with no empirical evidence to support the claim and considerable empirical evidence to the contrary.

    • Rud, replied above re frac sand (rounded). Yes the whole western and south central part of Wisconsin has been developed,19 out of 72 counties, from Burnett in the N to Crawford and Columbia to the south. Wisconsin produced over 24million tons from 66 mines (I’ve got them listed!) almost half US output . Actual capacity for washed sand feed to sizing ops is over 46million tons!

      It holds the world’s record for any mineral development increasing from 2million tons from 5mines in 2009. WI, MN and northern IL produce the best sand in the world for all uses. Some is shipped to Argentina and if Europe gets going you folks will be shipping large tonnage there too. I’ve had an idea for producing rounded sand from angular and subrounded sand using high pulp density attrition scrubbing – maybe not economic in Wisconsin of course, but maybe in S America, Europe and Australia to compete with your stuff.

      Gold rush development is over in WI of course, so you are seeing pretty much the worst it can get. The state has promulgated very high standards for Health and safety, too so you won’t be dealing with much dust as you were. Some of the mines will end up as cranberry operations to add to that sector as they get mined out. The cranberry growers also go into the frac sand business, too.

      The report itself is quite pricey for individuals so I’m not recommending it to you. However, I think it could be a useful library resource for university mineral resource and commerce faculties. Major sand counties might find it useful, too. You can get the Table of contents, list of maps, figures and tables from:
      Roskill.com
      Fracking tech, mining, processing, grain coating, logistics to well sites, all the states, Mexico and Canada developments, lists of producers and output by state. Forecasts, price forecasts (even for oil and gas), environmental info, world wide ceramic proppants production and producers and shipments to US (from Chinese [list over a hundred companies, 13 provinces and individual output] , Russian, European, Brazilian). I claim it to be the most complete review and analysis available! Hope you get this comment, Rud. I’ve done these analyses for a number of mineral commodities.

  7. Currently crude oil price is low, and while fracking in the UK may be just about profitable, it would be more prudent to leave those limited reserves for some day in future if and when price of crude rises substantially. This may not apply to countries with huge reserves as the US.
    North Sea oil production is on the downhill but most of the oil was pumped out when price was high and it made economic sense at the time.
    My family for generations was in wine and brandy production, philosophy of the business was: never sell commodity in the cheap (or buyers) market.
    Markets as the most of the events in nature, from solar cycles down to a good/bad vintage is cyclical.

    • The article is about natural gas, not crude oil. 1.3 thousand million million cubic feet is “limited reserves”, is it? If just 10% of that can be economically extracted it will supply the UK’s entire gas needs for 25 years.

      If the gas price falls the hydraulic fracturing companies just switch the flow off, then restart it when the price rises.

      • I sincerely hope you are right, I’m all in favour of the cheap gas, wherever it comes from Norway, Russia, or Qatar’s and even the US’s LNG that Trump likes to sell to Europe.
        Your estimate appears to be on low side, the Cuadrilla boss some time last autumn was talking of 40-50 years.
        My point is why not use cheap energy from other suppliers while widely available and safeguard the UK resources for future, even it means the future generations.

    • V, my understanding is that this is a gas only play. Cuadrilla has a separate oil play drilled in 2013 at Balcombe, stopped by protests before fracked. They have announced they are mothballing that oil prospect in favor of Lancashire gas. Given north sea’s decline, UK was estimated to be 70% either Russian natural gas imports or LNG imports by 2030. Both likely more expensive than potential shale gas domestic production. So on a sense they are taking your sage advice.

      • Hi Rud
        Yes I realise that it is gas this time. Up to nearly a decade ago oil and gas prices were moving in step, then a disconnect occurred, with both heading south. I’m not sure how accurately this relationship is reflected in $s/MW, but if there is a significant difference it is assumed that the free market forces will do the work, all things being equalled. For time being producers of both oil and gas are stuck with low prices, one can’t move without the other, all good for us consumers.

    • Fracking has revolutionized the nature of doing business in the sense that after the oil (and gas) prices dropped, some continued drilling because rig costs were down and they laid in a supply of unproduced but ready to be fracked resources when the market was right. It makes sense to explore the UK shales to see what you have and, if you want to shut them in for a while, they sit waiting until you want to put them into production. Put in thicker ear plugs for protesters and fence in your set up. Eventually, this knowledge-free group will have to give up, particularly in inclement winter weather. You can drill a lot of radiating holes from one pad so you don’t have to move around too much.

      • There is a misconception that fracking is the “technological revolution” that has made low permeability organic-rocks like shale economical to produce. While there have been advances in fracking technology the real revolutionary technology has been the development of steerable motorized drill bits that allow laterals to be presicely drilled for miles while remaining within the reservoir zone which can be 10 feet or less in thickness. It is amazing technology. I have watched my geologist wife “steer” a well from home using software developed for this purpose. So again the technology related to horizontal drilling has been the key to opening petroleum reserves in shale. Fracking conventional vertical boreholes in these
        same zone doesn’t work because it is limited to a relative small amount of reservoir thickness. So ten feet of “pay” turns into 10,000 feet and it’s profitable.

    • If it’s economical to drill now, drilling now is always the best option for two reasons.
      Money now is more valuable than money in some distant future.
      If you wait, they may discover a viable alternative in the meantime and the value of the stuff you have been hoarding goes to zero.

      Keeping it in the ground is a loser’s option.

    • thank you.
      i was reading some oil/gas industry report that stated under 70 a barrel? whatever? frakking was uneconomical
      and that was 70 usa
      prices have been well under that and likely to stay so as so much in usa anyway got set up.
      why the hell anyone would import usa gas by ship…when russian supplies are plentiful and affordable defies sense
      of course if the eu and uk wanna cut their throats making sanctions that make usa feel “nice”
      then more n bigger fools them!

      i can tell you the many people round chinchilla and dalby in qld are pissed off and trying to sell(no one wants to buy) in the area they movedinto n frakked.
      and all over rural Vic and SA the LOCK THE GATE signs are on most vehicles from farms n towns.
      offshore?
      not a problem
      in our tourist and farmlands?
      near our limited decent aquifers?
      go to hell!

  8. The opposition is huge, protests by as many as a dozen or so oddballs. They’ve managed to alienate a local community that was originally quite “nimbyish” about the drilling.

    • Yes, I also hope the locals are not claiming to be a “Nuclear Free Zone”. The Westinghouse Springfields fuel rod plant is only about 5 miles from the fracking site…:^)

  9. just waiting for the quakes .. even if there only 1.2-3 ..in Blackpool built on sand there going to be noticed ..
    theres a bigger filed down south but no ones touching that now are they …

  10. Maybe slightly OT, but this article does address fracking and the Marcellus was mentioned by ristvan.

    Just curious, does anyone with experience in the oil/gas industry know anything about the fracking ban in New York and if there is any movement to remove the ban?

    • It will be removed. These prizes are too great to pass up for long. NY gets most of its electricity from Hydro Quebec in Canada so they have the luxury of biding their time, but things change. Green lunacy as a commodity is about to experience a major decline.

      • Logically, it would have never been imposed. I think it will take a few cold winters with rolling blackouts and inadequate natural gas deliveries to slap New Yorkers to their senses.

      • Surely you don’t think that NYC will suffer any supply induced blackouts, do you? That will be reserved for the deplorables.

      • Wouldn’t surprise me if most of the city dwellers who oppose fracking also believe that food comes from grocery stores.

      • “MarkW August 10, 2017 at 2:03 pm

        …believe that food comes from grocery stores.”

        I fully expect none of them have been anywhere near a grocery store. These types get take out.

    • I lived in that western region of NY. It is a depressed area; farms that were in families for generations are idle. When I was there 10 years ago it was very Republican (libertarian – no zoning for example) but with more than a few “Birkenstockers” down from the city. The town was very anti Wind but because we all got water from our own wells, and lived adjacent to a Finger Lake that was used as a reserve reservoir for the City of Rochester, folks bought into the “poisoning of water table” nonsense.
      They need a change of government (Cuomo is too committed to anti fracking to back down now) and a lot more factual information about safety.
      The landowners and unemployed could really use the income fracking would generate.

      • Thanks for all the replies.

        George Daddis,

        I have a very cynical viewpoint. That is, it’s nothing more nor less than blatant partisan politics. The Marcellus shale runs (if I remember correctly, don’t have map handy) primarily from western NY across central and southcentral NY (and PA). This area as you noted tends to be more Republican/conservative. Cuomo and his ilk wouldn’t want a strong conservative populace all of a sudden have a lot of money would he? Better to keep them idle and poor. A lot of upstate NY conservatives with money could lead to the needed change of government you mentioned.

  11. Hip, hip, HOORAY!
    Hip, hip, HOORAY!
    Hip, hip, HOORAY!
    for — the — BRITISH!

    (youtube — “British Grenadiers”)

    (Sing along everybody! :) )

    Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules;
    Of Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these;
    But of all the world’s brave heroes,
    There’s none that can compare
    With a Bwah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, HA!
    for the petrol Engineers!

    With a wave and a smile from your American cousin #(:))

      • Janice, thank you for your many excellent comments! A very moving film; Princess Elizabeth looking wonderful of course but mainly for the ranks of retired Guards at the end of the parade with hard earned medals, the odd ‘gammy’ leg and, no doubt, memories of comrades who fell the last time we had to sort out Europe (with grateful thanks to USA and CCCP of course!). At my school, a minor ‘public’ (= private) school we walked into chapel each morning under memorials to 675 old boys killed in WW1 and 363 killed in WW2 (from a school with about 450 pupils at the time).

      • And, again, thank you, Nigel, for your very kind words. The world owes an eternal debt to Great Britain. We came along and chipped in, nevertheless, but for the British, MUCH worse would have happened to the entire world (as the ripples spread rapidly around the globe). And now, leading the way once again with Brexit! How heartening to us all that stout stand for liberty is. Go, United Kingdom! :)

  12. Fracking is another massive revolution in resource discovery and production.
    In the 1870s, miners centered in Montana learned how to produce copper from large good-grade deposits.
    In 1910, they discovered how to mine huge low-grade copper systems. That was at Bingham Canyon, just south of Salt Lake City. It is still being mined.
    In the 1970s, miners learned how to mine the relatively lower-grade gold deposits of the Carlin type in Nevada. Around this time, heap leaching was also advanced.
    Fracking “tight” oil and gas deposits is an outstanding advance in technology.
    On the next recession, watch OPEC collapse.

  13. As fracked gas comes on line and the ever more ridiculous flat-earth environmentalists are exposed on television as the same group of anti-everything modern and progressive brigade that trolls up for any protest opportunity, the majority of people will soon see where the truth lies and opinions will swing in support of fracking. That is why Griff & Co. are so desperate to stop the very first wells, because once gas starts flowing and the sky doesn’t fall down they know the game will be up. And all the lies will have been in vain.
    Meanwhile the Moon will continue to move away from us at 3mm a year – probably a more urgent problem than anything Griff seems to believe threatens us.

  14. Finally, reality and truth are setting in for the UK. They no longer buy the CAGW propaganda and realize they have been taken down a Climate Change rat hole designed to make them energy dependent and economically subservient to the EU. Goodbye Eu. Goodbye Marxist ideology. More countries will be joining the US and UK and those already outside the CAGW sphere of influence as they sink deeper into despair and watch the rest of the world prosper and recognize CAGW as a baseless boogey man.

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