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Shale gas and fracking

Fracking has been given the green light and various people are saying how it could transform the Welsh economy and commentards saying it's time to stick two fingers up to England.

Pretty iffy reporting as well, quoting the value of the reserves based on current prices ignoring how it drove down gas prices by 2/3rds in the US (so might not be such a money spinner), the potential risks and what impact England having far more gas could have.

Re: Shale gas and fracking

I think the whole thing remains rather suspect. People shouldn't be getting carried away.

Re: Shale gas and fracking

I've always wanted highly inflammable tap water.

Re: Shale gas and fracking

I don't know too much about the safety aspect but I was chatting to an associate who had been in the industry in the US and he said quite categorically it is not safe. He didn't really elaborate but said we shouldn't do it. I appreciate this doesn't really help.

Re: Shale gas and fracking

I'd like it to be investigated properly first and then if it's okay go for it. It would be nice for the U.K. to not be so dependant on other countries for gas and oil, and this sounds like it could help that in a big way, but it has to be done in a safe and (hopefully) clean way.

As for the economical benefits, it could be huge, but as usual it will probably be companies from outside of the U.K. that would benefit most. Even the company from Bridgend involved in the Vale application is at least partially foreign owned I think ? That is something that I think the governments in Cardiff and London really need to look at. Regardless of that, I really do hope it's safe and works out and creates lots of jobs in south Wales and elsewhere in the U.K.

Re: Shale gas and fracking

I don't know too much about the safety aspect but I was chatting to an associate who had been in the industry in the US and he said quite categorically it is not safe. He didn't really elaborate but said we shouldn't do it. I appreciate this doesn't really help.

It is not the fracking process that is inherently dangerous but the chemicals used and the possibility that they eventually find their way back into the hydrological cycle, often from poor well construction. Many of the chemicals used are known carcinogens but many other substances are not revealed being known as "proprietary", e.g. a trade secret, and how can you test for that!

The US experience is unlikely to be replicated as in part it is down to their land ownership system where the land owner has the mineral rights and the leases, which cost the gas firms a fortune, either had to be used or the money would be lost, so masses of gas is being produced driving the cost of gas down on a temporary basis. Meanwhile huge losses have been made. A typical financial resource bubble.

The drawbacks, apart from being a fossil fuel that will produce more CO2, are the cost of the process and the short life of the wells. Fracking wells are not like the old North Sea gas fields which have lasted 40-50 years they will suffer significantly reduced production in about 2 years and will probably expire in about 6 years or so (unless re-fracked). Also remember that as a human race we tend to use the best resources first and this has happened in the US, other shale deposits do not always give the return needed to develop them and the same will happen here and in the rest of Europe.

But saying that they may produce a resource that will either replace imports for a while or can be used to replace coal consumption. But the amount of hype should make you think who really will benefit.

Re: Shale gas and fracking

It's bewildering for the average Joe to know what method of energy production is the greenest or the most efficient. And what if any translates to cheaper energy prices.

The BBC reports that a cert has been issued for a potential biomass station in Anglesey. A similar application was turned down in Carmarthenshire recently. Where does biomass come in the hierachy of green energy? To the layman it seems to be better than a coal fired power station but with carbon capture is this the case? What about anerobic digesters? Are they capable of the requisite amounts of energy needed?

Why is wave power seemingly so remote? The barrage has been discussed for over 100 hundred years. There is a suggestion that it could produce 5% of the UK's energy needs - is that domestic only? Is nuclear greener than burning waste as is proposed in the Viridor plant in Splott? What about wind power? I've read reports of solar paint being produced that if painted on your roof or the outside of your house each home will become an energy generator even in a northern European climate. And now shale gas which seems to carry with it incredible risks when you you consider the umpteen different methods that we have of energy production.

It also seems to me that there isn't really an energy policy. There isn't a pallette of energy production methods that has been settled on by the government and no plan to implement them. This seems incredible to me as outside of food and water energy is more important than anything to our well being.

It also seems to me that the picture is deliberately complicated so that the average man on the street has little or no chance of being able to unpick the labrynth created by the various vested interests, the lobby groups, the information and mis-information, etc etc.

And no matter how many times we read in the paper that something will create enough energy to power 30,000 homes or enough for 100,000 people this never seems to translate into a saving for the consumer or as far as I aware a cut in carbon emissions.

Re: Shale gas and fracking

Unfortunatly it's all about the same old thing. Money! everything has to be done by spending less. Sod sea level's riseing it's not our problem who cares about acid rain not hurting me.
Well what if u are concerned for your children or grand childrens future? I personlly think there should be Tax on carbon emissions that should be spent on Sustainable energy only. I also think that all new build homes should have either solar or wind turbines installed infact there is many ways to reduce our energy costs.