Shale gas panel offers olive branch to industry
Jennifer A. Dlouhy
When a government task force said natural gas drilling wasn’t inherently dangerous to water supplies — but still urged tougher standards for the practice — most environmentalists said the industry had gotten a free pass.
Industry leaders, however, complained that the group had overlooked existing regulations and voluntary improvements — including best practices espoused by the American Petroleum Institute — that are already designed to make drilling safer.
Today, members of the panel defended their approach and offered an olive branch to gas producers.
“We’re not recommending that for the existing standard-setting groups, there be something new on top of that,” said Daniel Yergin, the head of IHS-CERA, and a member of the Energy Department’s shale gas advisory board at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing. “We’re trying to create an ongoing process for discussion among the players and participants in this,” whether they are regulators, drillers or local residents. (fuelfix)
Hydraulic fracturing wrongly bears brunt of public concerns on shale gas development, expert says
WASHINGTON — Hydraulic fracturing has wrongly been the focus of public concerns over growing natural gas development in the nation, members of a special Energy Department panel told a Senate Committee on Tuesday.
Though natural gas exploration can pose air and water pollution threats, the process of fracturing shale rock to free trapped natural gas thousands of feet below the ground should not be the primary concern, the panel’s experts told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
“Hydraulic fracturing has sort of become a bumper sticker for everything we have to watch out for,” said Mark D. Zoback, a Stanford University professor of geophysics who has been studying hydraulic fracturing for 30 years.
“The constant reference to hydraulic fracturing misrepresents” where the most significant environmental impacts could be, Zoback said.
Those potential impacts include well blowouts, leakage from faulty well casings and leakage and spills from areas containing flowback fluids used in hydraulic fracturing, he said. (NewsOK)
Shale Gas Discovery Should Be A Cause For Celebration In UK
Tuesday, 04 October 2011 11:51 Robin Mills, The National
The prize of European shale gas is in sight. The question is whether it will become the subject of further politicised, unwinnable ideological battles, or a driver of environmental, economic and geopolitical revival. (GWPF)
France to Keep Fracking Ban to Protect Environment, Sarkozy Says
France to cancel Total’s shale gas permits: report
France plans to cancel shale gas exploration permits granted to oil major Total SA in the South of France after it banned shale gas drilling due to environmental concerns earlier this year, Le Figaro reported on Friday.
Total said on September 12 it wanted to prospect for shale gas in France’s southeast region, but stressed it would not use the banned hydraulic fracturing drilling technique. (Reuters)
Lawrence Solomon: New battle over Mediterranean gas
What the frack?
Shale gas will not solve Britain’s energy problems
Oct 1st 2011
HAS Britain hit the jackpot in Blackpool? On September 21st Cuadrilla Resources, the first firm to drill for shale gas in the country, estimated that 200 trillion cubic feet of gas lie in an area near the seaside town in northwest England—nearly 40 times previous projections of all of Britain’s shale resources and, in theory, four times as much gas as is still recoverable from the North Sea, according to Oil & Gas UK, a lobby group. Cuadrilla hopes to drill 400 wells in Lancashire in the next decade.
Green Panic: Brussels Desperate To Block Shale Revolution
Thursday, 29 September 2011 07:32 Nick Grealy, No Hot Air
Some people will be leaping on this story:
BRUSSELS—Oversights in REACH registration dossiers could mean the use of hazardous chemicals in hydraulic fracturing to extract shale gas is technically illegal in the European Union, the European Commission told BNA Sept. 27.
Commission environment spokesman Joe Hennon said the Helsinki-based European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) had examined REACH registration dossiers “for a selected number of chemical substances having a high probability to be used in shale gas operations,” and had found no instances of chemical safety assessments mentioning exposure scenarios related to hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.
We can see the headlines: Frackers use illegal chemicals. Of course this is simply an over eager group of pedants, whose priority may be as more to self-preservation than public protection. Let’s look at the case of one of the chemicals Cuadrilla Resources uses in the UK: (GWPF)
Barnett Shale Has Created 100,00 Jobs, $65 Billion In Economic Activity
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 11:17 Matt Joyce, Dallas Business Journal
The Barnett Shale natural gas field has generated $65.4 billion in economic activity and created more than 100,200 jobs over the 24-county area since 2001, according to a new study commissioned by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.
Ray Perryman, founder and president of Waco-based The Perryman Group, presented his findings Tuesday to the Fort Worth City Council. The study examined the impact of Barnett Shale activity on local, regional and state businesses from 2001 to 2011.
“We commissioned the study to see how or if the economic downturn had impacted past projections about the industry,” said Bill Thornton, chamber president and CEO. “What we found was that it’s a bulwark of our economy.” (GWPF)
Benny Peiser: Shale Gas Is Britain’s Golden Opportunity
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 10:22 Public Service Europe
The discovery of 200 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in north-west England could revolutionise Britain’s energy market
Last week the drilling company Cuadrilla Resources announced that it had discovered an estimated 200 trillion cubic feet of shale gas under a small patch of land in the north-west of England. The find suggests that Britain has considerably more shale gas resources than earlier estimations predicted – possibly by an order of magnitude.
Despite the fact that typically only around 10-30 per cent of gas locked in shale formations is recoverable, the astoundingly large discovery may turn out to be one of the biggest gas finds in the past decade.
Next year Cuadrilla will submit its development plans for approval to Chris Huhne’s Department of Energy and Climate Change. If the government approves of the exploration plan, Cuadrilla hopes to bring the first gas to market in 2013. But whether or not the coalition government will give the green light to what appears to become a veritable energy revolution depends to a large extend on Huhne’s ill-famed objections against a new dash for cheap gas. (GWPF)
When developing dispersed oil fields gas is generally flared, at least until the field can be evaluated and the economics of capturing and transporting the gas to market actually known.
In North Dakota, Flames of Wasted Natural Gas Light the Prairie
By CLIFFORD KRAUSS
NEW TOWN, N.D. — Across western North Dakota, hundreds of fires rise above fields of wheat and sunflowers and bales of hay. At night, they illuminate the prairie skies like giant fireflies.
They are not wildfires caused by lightning strikes or other acts of nature, but the deliberate burning of natural gas by oil companies rushing to extract oil from the Bakken shale field and take advantage of the high price of crude. The gas bubbles up alongside the far more valuable oil, and with less economic incentive to capture it, the drillers treat the gas as waste and simply burn it.
Drillers Face Methane Concern
Contamination of Water Supply Near Gas-Drilling Operations Prompts Industry Focus on Design of Wells
GRANVILLE SUMMIT, Pa.—Sherry Vargson has cooked with water from a five-gallon jug for the past year. It’s inconvenient, but preferable to using tap water containing enough methane gas that she can light a match and see an orange flame flare out of the faucet.
Many water supplies in northern Pennsylvania have long contained detectable levels of methane, because of poorly constructed water wells and the unusual geologic features here. But the contamination in Ms. Vargson’s existing well is among the first cases that state regulators have attributed to natural-gas drilling, prompting a normally competitive group of drilling companies to work together to fix the problem.
Methane: When Agendas Trump Facts
Monday, 26 September 2011 16:25 Robert Rapier, The Energy Collective
Lessons Learned From a Recent Paper on Climate Change
Actually, the lessons were learned from the media’s reporting — and the reactions to that reporting — of a recent paper on climate change. The paper I am talking about is a study by Tom Wigley, who is a senior research associate at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The title of the study is Coal to Gas: The Influence of Methane Leakage.
To review, the study looked at the impact of replacing coal-fired power plants with natural gas-fired power plants. Natural gas emits far less carbon dioxide than coal per BTU of energy produced, and many therefore argue that natural gas is a good bridge fuel on the way to a future in which we would ideally have large-scale adoption of zero (technically “near zero”) emission sources of electricity. Natural gas has the advantage that it is firm power, and thus a realistic option for displacing coal-fired power with a much lower emissions profile. (GWPF)
Watermelons Vs The Shale Gas Miracle
Friday, 23 September 2011 15:44 James Delingpole, The Daily Telegraph
Against all the odds, the magic bullet to save the British economy has just been handed to George Osborne on a plate. All he has to do is call a halt to Britain’s economically suicidal drive for “renewable energy”, cancel immediately Britain’s disastrous wind farm building programme, and give the green light to shale gas drilling. (GWPF)
Chris Huhne halts ‘dash for gas’ to keep UK on course for carbon targets
Charles Hendry: The Potential For Shale Gas Is Worth Exploration
Thursday, 22 September 2011 13:46 Charles Hendry, The Guardian
Given the amount of attention shale gas drilling has attracted recently, one could be forgiven for thinking there was a large, unregulated industry in operation in the UK. The is far from the reality. Shale gas exploration is just beginning here and is governed by one of the most robust and stringent regulatory frameworks in the world. (GWPF)
Green Panic: EU Studying If Current EU Enviro Laws Can Stop Shale Gas
New Discoveries May Propel Americas To The Top Of The Energy League
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 08:52 Simon Romero, The New York Times
For the first time in decades, the emerging prize of global energy may be the Americas, where Western oil companies are refocusing their gaze in a rush to explore clusters of coveted oil fields.
New Yorkers back fracking 45 to 41 percent, poll shows
Forty-five percent of New York state voters support natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale for the economic benefits versus 41 percent who oppose it because of its environmental impact, a poll said on Wednesday.
Support for a new tax on drilling companies fell to 51 percent from 59 percent in August, the Quinnipiac University poll said. (Reuters)
A Tragic Tale Of Two States On Shale Gas