Monday 29 October 2018

Fracking: Small Tremors, Big Impact

At the start of the month I suggested the government may be about to lose its nerve on shale gas.  Well now the actual fracking has commenced and we may shortly find out.

Because, inevitably, there have been tremors.  Duh!  Way too small to be felt, still less do any surface damage of course, but there they are, day after day, faithfully recorded and published on Cuadrilla's website.  Interestingly, so far the MSM have been fairly non-inflammatory about it: even the Grauniad acknowledges that "the 0.8-magnitude event [the larger of the two more noteworthy incidents] was about 200 times smaller than the 2.3-magnitude tremor recorded in 2011 that led to fracking being suspended" (it's a logarithmic scale, and the 200x refers to energy released): but of course they also report Zac Goldsmith's witterings.

So.  What next?  If there's an election any time soon, I just can't see any party - including the Tories -  being willing to endorse continued fracking.  The supposed lesson of the 2017 GE hint on fox-hunting has been learned.  Cuadrilla et al had better find something impressive PDQ, or it'll be curtains for at least two election cycles. 



Anonymous said...

It's been handled pretty badly - central government overriding local governments doesn't just piss off the anti-fracking crowd, it also pisses off those who dislike central government lording it.

Cuadrilla could have gone down the route of comparing the tremors with the ones caused when Messi scores - the stadium tremors are down to the proximity of sensors of course, but it's still the kind of spin that would generate more positive responses than "Oops.. We made another earthquake" which sounds far more foreboding than it is. Did they outsource their PR department to the 1930's BBC or something?

All in all, I suspect it'll quietly die, and by the time someone wants to take another shot at it, renewables will be a lot more viable.

CityUnslicker said...

If they fall over this then they deserve to lose, all drilling makes some sort of earthquake impact. the fact they can't take the greenies on makes me agree with the comment above - really bad PR advice.

Raedwald said...

Remember your petrol ration coupons back in the 1970s?

Pissing off the KSA and $200/bbl would win Caudrilla enormous public backing ...

hovis said...

Good Cuadrilla are bunch of fly by night shysters and the Tories get everything they deserve on this.

If you think that the proposal to make drilling fracking wells ok under permitted development when it is not possible to build a garage garden structure over certain limits then quite frankly you are the road to Moronville.

The much vaunted job, benefits and £££ gain have and will be utterly illusory; the latter having been officially admitted and then buried since at least 2014. Added to the "proven" reserves being fantasy then even $200bbl wouldnt make a difference.
If by some impossible chance the fantasy reserve figures were true the required and the volume of industrialsation to extract them would be unprecedented and for little gain.

Still the govt. pushes chips away and has been utterly disingenuous in all its dealings since around 2014/15. A perfect example of cronyism.

James Higham said...

Suppose we'd best go nuclear then.

GridBot said...

To Hovis' point about fly by night shysters:

Having worked for a drilling company - one of the big offshore drillers - I confirm they're creed is quick and dirty. It's just easy to get away with when you are even just a few miles offshore (providing that is things don't go catastrophic).