For some while now I have been working on the hypothesis the government reckons it might as well use the 4 or so years potentially left to it, to encourage the drilling companies to get on and prove up whatever shale reserves there are. Then, if Labour really wants to turn its back on the wealth the gas represents, well, it's been sitting under the ground for eons and it ain't going anywhere else in a hurry. When it comes to serious development and production prospects, t'unions might have ideas quite different from "Nanas against fracking" ...
|It rains in Lancs. Who knew? Not Cuadrilla|
What slightly troubles me is that Cuadrilla are a pretty useless crew (ditto Third Energy). They have made a pig's ear of the drill pad up in Lancs, allowing it to flood everywhere and breaching their permits several times. (That's water in the pic, not ultra-smooth concrete - and it's never been entirely clear where it came from, though Cuadrilla says rain.) Given that handling immense quantities of liquids is what the fracking game is all about - both in the pumping-down phase of the operation, and perhaps more significantly in the flow-back phase when a substantial proportion of the fluids that've been sent down come back up again, often heavily polluted - it doesn't bode well that these jokers can't even handle suface water. Who knew it rained in Lancashire, eh? Bloody amateurs.
Still, the big boys were always reckoning to let the minnows take the flak, then move in once the reserves have been proven. A good long-term strategy? If it allows the game to be brought into terminal disrepute, I'm not so sure.