Thursday, 14 March 2013

Shale will take time...maybe too much

This is less encouraging news today. Caudrilla, already a hated company thanks to much Green campaigning, has taken a sensible corporate decision to go for a full environmental impact assessment. After its PR disaster of 2011, this is no doubt demanded by the board and shareholders.

The downside though is that Caudrilla is the only company even close to drilling for shale gas and now this will be 2014 at the earliest, maybe a year later given how long the timescales can be.

No doubt the Greenies will be happy that they can now insist on new, subsidised wind farms to help Britian through its energy crunch.

There is a Bill going through parliament that should make the shale gas exploration a little easier, but in reality we are looking at 5 years minimum before it starts to trickle through to any meaningful production. At the same time the North Sea fields keep suffering from major outages, so much so that they have had a significant effect on GDP measurements these last two years.

So all in all, not a great story, Nuclear powerstations are a decade away, old coal and nuclear stations are being phased out and the North Sea and Shale are not going to produce enough energy.

Meanwhile in the USA, they have started to export gas such is the growth in capacity.

I wonder if we really will have 'dark days' ahead.


Alex said...

I have no inside information but it looks to me like the coalition have deliberately kicked this into the long grass, while pretending they are still supporting it.
After 2015 it will leave Labour with the choice between shale and power cuts. A choice that will be politically difficult, albeit 100% simple by criteria unimportant to politicians, like economics, common sense etc etc etc.

roym said...

'they have started to export gas'

isn't that the answer?

artedPRe 1621

Nick Drew said...

Disagree, it is not too bad at all, given that (e.g.) the County Council have said that the EIA need NOT address the following smelly red-herrings

Socio Economic Impacts;
Landscape and visual assessment;
Climate change;
Agricultural considerations

for the UK, the key is doing the thing properly, including to unimpeachable environmental standards (frankly, this is not the case in many US states), which Cuadrilla can easily afford to do

anyhow, as we've said all along, UK shale is a long-term thing & one year here or there is irrelevant

in practical terms, it will be coming from far larger and far easier-to-drill quantities in Algeria where they have epic amounts of shale

the impact on the gas price will be just the same

go, OffUGO !

Blue Eyes said...

Surely the lights won't go out due to a shortage of gas, the lights will go out because there aren't enough power stations.

If we built gas power stations we can burn the gas from wherever it comes from.

Ryan said...

Lights out? I certainly hope so, because it was the Winter of Discontent that finally caused the British public to lose patience with the radical left when they tried to take control through the Unions and it will be a similar national catastrophe that will cause the British public to lose patience with the radical left infecting the green movement.

Electro-Kevin said...

I'm with Ryan.

Breakdown is the only way power is wrested back from the Left.

However, the public don't even seem aware that it's the Left that has been in charge.

andrew said...

Candles are cheap at IKEA.

Changing the subject slightly...
Interesting trailer for something on R4 about freedom of expression where some labor wonk says something like 'one person stands up with a placard and calls a pol a liar - that becomes the news so we must stop it'
I remember the 83 year old pensioner who did that at a Labor Party conference and he was arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Just you wait until there has been a year or two of news about Romanians etc.

If the mainstream parties wont reflect the mainstream - or have the nerve to stand and argue the case and persuade the mainstream - we may well end up with a UKIP/Labor coalition.

I will never vote for either.

Jan said...

Back to the 70s it is then. I remember the 3 day week, shopping by candlelight, rubbish piling up in the streets, rolling blackouts etc and waking up to see if the physics tower lights were on. If not it was back to bed as lectures would all be cancelled. No power meant no lights in the lecture theatres and they didn't have windows.

Elby the Beserk said...

Oxford was fantastic during the winter of discontent, as many of the city centre streets still had their old gas lights. Pubs lit by candles, streets by gas - very atmospheric.

I digress. The lights will go out, and better if it is under Labour for the reasons Ryan and Kevin note.

Whilst Geoffrey Lean in the Telegraph wails about 4000 deaths pa from pollution, I note the says nothing about the 21k+ who died last winter from the cold, and the predicted 30k figure this winter. As a result if policies he supports.

Taff said...

BE has got it in one.

Where is the capacity? Or will be back to the old wartime spirit of pulling together where we all be issued with windmills rather than gas masks.


CityUnslicker said...

BE - I agree, but i would add when we are short of fossil fuels we will discover the price will move against us.

In the 1970's we engaged on a little inflationary path to try and alleivate the effects of high debt. Whoops, the Oil shock occurred and we ended up with inflation at 20%. The sins of the past caught up with us in unexpected ways.

When we let the North sea run down, refuse to build any power stations, switch off nuclear without replacement and buy lots of useless windmills - the law of unintended consequences will hit us again to make us pay for our idiocy.

Blue Eyes said...

Absolutely. And I am as keen as anyone to get a fracking move on. But there is plenty of gas to buy we just have to be able to willing to pay the price for it. We can't import suitable amounts of wind power or build enough nuclear quickly enough.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the Winter of discontent, but you're not recognising the bare-faced shamelessness of Labour.

If the lights go out in three years when they are back in power they will (without a trace of irony) turn on a sixpence and start a rush for Nationalised Shale (conveniently re-branded as something like 'Power for the People'), and be hailed as the saviours.

We have always been at war with Eurasia.

Bill Quango MP said...

There was quite a famous hippy candle shop that made a fortune out of the 3 day week. They were the usual bankrupt load of squat shop nobodies, making home made candles.
But they sold out {in all senses of the word} when the crisis came.

Can't remember the name of the firm/person. Annoying, as its a good social history story.
Poncho to riches. A very early green success.Very {briefly} famous in their day.

Budgie said...

Well said, CU. With the loss of coal fired power stations under the LCPD, and the loss of nuclear plants due to aging we are now in the predicted dire straits. Brown outs next winter and beyond, I think.

Of course we all know that windmills are expensive, and useless when you need them the most. And the government has no more ideas than Wind (it's all Cameron has got).

The practicalities of importing even more gas (exporting countries infrastructure, ships, extra UK importing/storage facilities), plus the required CCGT generators will take years to build.

Then there is the problem of CCGT with Wind - 60% efficiency on steady burn, but 40% when cutting in and out as intermittent Wind backup. Then there is the straggling supply chain, dependent on everyone working well together, no disruptions, and peace.

We won't be able to get by as we did in the 1970s either. When the electricity stops so will the country because we are all hooked up to the mighty computer - every industry relies on them. It will all be a lot more expensive too.

BrianSJ said...

Has Cuadrilla been watching EdF and realised how much HMG is open to blackmail. Stalling for a year or so has to put the price up a lot?