According to Chris Weston, president and chief executive of Centrica’s direct energy unit, this single source of energy has grown so much in North America that it is bigger than the UK’s entire gas production. Some experts believe shale gas will account for half of all North American production by the end of the decade.
Technological advances over the past 10 years have meant that it is finally economically viable to drill great distances horizontally, fracture the tightly packed shale rock and capture the gas. Shale gas production has rocketed in the US, with President Obama promoting the technology in overseas trade talks. (The Independent)
By Andres Cala
Did you hear? Fracking is the new Gaddafi in France!
That’s right. Shale gas production is the new distraction of the center-right government of Nicolas Sarkozy, the most recent of many populist gambits that seek to reverse Socialist gains ahead of next year’s presidential elections.
In the past, fledgling polls or upcoming elections have coincided with controversial policies against gypsies, Muslim veils, Ivory Coast, immigrants, or bilateral relation with Germany, the UK, the US, Spain, China, Russia, Turkey, etc.
It’s a long list and at times Sarkozy picked on legitimate concerns, like Libya, but his timing and populist rhetoric are suspicious, to say the least.
But for the Sarkozy-controlled French Parliament to outlaw fracking, the only way to extract shale gas, is irresponsible. The ruling party has uselessly undermined a nascent European industry with an already uncertain future that will require a decade before commercial production takes place, if at all. (Energy Tribune)