Coffee House

The UK needs a serious debate on shale gas

14 February 2013

5:23 PM

14 February 2013

5:23 PM

Arguments over the potential development of UK shale gas resources are too often characterised by rhetoric and hyperbole on both sides. Some of the wilder claims need to be challenged and we need to separate the facts from the ill-informed speculation. That is why I am one of a cross-party group of MPs and Peers who have come together to set up the new APPG. Members include MPs who are in favour of developing a domestic shale gas industry, MPs who are opposed, and MPs who simply want to better understand the truth. The intention is to cut through the rhetoric and get to the facts.

Much of the excitement over the potential benefits of shale gas come from those who cast an eye across the Atlantic at the transformation shale gas has wrought on American energy prices. As US shale gas production has soared, the price of gas in the US has fallen by two thirds to a ten year low. Average electricity prices in the US fell last year by more than a quarter. Not all of these changes can be attributed solely to the shale gas boom, but it is undoubtedly a significant contributor. To give an idea of the scale of the growth in US production, the state of Pennsylvania alone – with a population of just 12 million – went from producing zero natural gas to overtaking the entire output from the North Sea in just four years.

The impact of structurally lower energy prices have been significant, not just for hard pressed consumers but for the wider economy. The US has seen an unexpected boom in energy intensive industries such as steel, and in the chemicals industry. Some companies are taking advantage of cheaper gas prices by relocating back to the US, production which had previously been moved offshore. The statistics I find most remarkable are the International Energy Agency’s predictions that the United States will overtake Russia as the words biggest producer of natural gas by 2015, and will overtake Saudi Arabia as the worlds biggest producer of oil by 2020. We may need to prepare for a world in the which the US is no longer reliant on the Middle East for oil but is energy self-sufficient, and the geopolitical implications of that.


However, the economic impact is not the only picture. As the production of shale gas and unconventional oil continue to rise (shale gas is expected to account for almost half of all US gas production by 2035), so too has the controversy. Accusations of environmental damage and water pollution have dogged the US shale industry, leading to fracking bans in a number of states. A hard hitting documentary called ‘Gasland’ took the internet by storm in 2010 with its dramatic images of people setting fire to their tap water, allegedly as a result of fracking for shale gas. While that claim is widely believed by experts to be mistaken, there is a large and growing anti-fracking movement that cannot be ignored. That movement is already active here in the UK.

The reason the debate is about to take off in Britain is due to the rapidly changing picture with regard to our own shale gas resources. Two years ago, the Energy & Climate Change Select Committee (on which I sit) looked at UK shale gas potential and concluded it was unlikely to be a game changer. At that time the British Geological Survey estimated British onshore shale gas resources to be in region of 5.3 trillion cubic feet (TCF). In just a few weeks time they are expected to dramatically increase that estimate to 1300-1700 TCF. That would make us one of the most shale gas rich nations on the planet. This is the total amount of gas in place, not the economically recoverable figure which will be a lot lower. However, that is still a huge amount of shale gas – too much to be ignored. We don’t yet know what the technically and economically feasible recovery rates in the UK might be. In the United States average recovery rates are around 18 per cent. If we were to access just 10% of the lower end of this estimate, that would be 130 TCF. To put that in context, the entire North Sea gas production from 1970 to 2011 was just under 85 TCF. It’s no surprise that shale gas is getting some people very excited.

As a country we have some important decisions to make, but there are still too many unanswered questions. Just how much shale gas is realistically recoverable, and at what price? What are the real environmental effects of fracking, and what would be the effect on local communities? What impact could shale gas production at scale have on our climate change commitments? What could be the impact, if any, on UK energy prices? How many jobs might a domestic shale gas industry create? How much tax revenue might the government expect?

It is to consider questions like these that the All Party Parliamentary Group has been set up, and I am very excited to be chairing it. We will interrogate companies involved in the onshore gas industry, government officials and both industry and environmental regulators. We will hear from respected academic organisations such as the the Royal Society, the British Geological Survey, the Durham Energy Institute, Manchester University School of Earth, Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences and others. We will consider the detailed economic analysis currently being put together by the Institute of Directors. And we will hear about the environmental concerns from organisations such as Friends of the Earth and WWF.

The Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, has described unconventional oil and gas as the most significant development in energy since the Second World War, with massive economic and geopolitical implications. The UK could be sitting on one of the worlds largest shale gas deposits. These are questions we can no longer afford not to answer.

Dan Byles is the Conservative MP for North Warwickshire and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Unconventional Oil & Gas.

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Show comments
  • John de Melville

    See Shale is full of hype and pollution

  • John_Page

    Kudos to Dan for wading through the comments. How will he avoid a dialogue of the deaf, though? Green witnesses at the select committee don’t argue against shale at any detailed level, they just point to UK treaty obligations on CO2.

    Fracking is established & rapidly improving technology, in use for decades. Thousands of wells have been fracked. It is nothing new.

    The US has found the economic benefits huge. And what’s happened to its CO2 emissions? Oh yes, they’ve fallen. With decent regulation, what’s not to like?

  • weescamp

    The truth is that nobody actually has a real handle on how much shale gas we might be able to produce and we won’t until such time as there have been a significant number of holes drilled and flow tested.
    Until we really know what we’re dealing with articles like this and the PwC commentary are utterly pointless and actually quite irresponsible.

  • itdoesntaddup

    I’m delighted to see Dan Byles taking a serious interest in this issue after I had a lengthy debate with him elsewhere. However, I’m very worried when I read Peter Hain claiming in Parliament:

    The [Severn] barrage will produce electricity 50% to 75% cheaper than coal, gas, wind or nuclear beyond the initial consumer support phase that all renewable technology attracts. For more than 90 years, it will be the cheapest electricity source in Britain. The barrage has the lowest levelised cost of any electricity generating source—lower than nuclear, lower than wind, lower than gas.

    when just a few days previously, evidence to the Select Committee was that the levelised cost would be of the order of £300/MWh – higher than gas by a factor of 5-10, wind and probably even nuclear.

    Then we have Christopher Pincher, ECC Select Committee member no less, in the same debate:

    With respect to demand management, if we are serious about reducing
    the cost of bills and reducing our carbon footprint, we have to be serious about reducing our energy consumption, which has increased by about 75% since 1970.

    Frankly, I’m astonished that he is unaware that our energy consumption has fallen – despite the rising population – and is now the same as it was in 1965.

    These kinds of untruths reaching the Hansard record uncorrected by interventions are a real demonstration of the lack of proper knowledge among MPs.

    • Daniel Maris

      I am very puzzled by the £300 per MWh figure for the Severn Barrage, given that La Rance barrage in France produces the just about the cheapest electricity in Europe.

      • itdoesntaddup

        Perhaps if you understood something about engineering and costs you would have no surprise.

        • Daniel Maris

          So how do you explain the disparity then? Who provided the figure in the “anonymous” evidence you quote. There are proposals for the barrage to have a road on top for instance. Obviously things like that will push up cost hugely but can’t be laid at the door of the energy generation.

  • Alex

    Blimey; if this lot had been in charge in the 18th Century we wouldn’t have had the industrial revolution yet; we would still be waiting for the 14th Parliamentary Report on the environmental implications of flying shuttle manufacture.

  • jose garcia

    “As US shale gas production has soared, the price of gas in the US has
    fallen by two thirds to a ten year low. Average electricity prices in
    the US fell last year by more than a quarter”

    if that is true…… bring it on!!!!!!….however since UK is EU that will mean TAXXXXXXXEEEESSS!!!!!!…..which will make the whole thing redundant for costumers

  • johnfaganwilliams

    Dear Mr Byles. Don’t just talk about it. bloody get on with it. Businessmen and women are prepared to invest huge amounts of money to give UK an “unfair” advantage just like we had with the industrial revolution. God knows we need a break.

  • vvputout

    Get fracking in the Bowland shales (Lancashire) immediately and see how it goes.

    Investigation by an APPG will only cause delays and allow trouble-making greenies a forum. .

    The BGS and Durham Uni., reports show that fracking is safe if proper precautions are taken.

    We need to eliminate subsidised wind-farming asap. So let’s back the frack.

    • John_Page

      Fracking is not new. It’s been happening for decades. Thousands of wells have been fracked.

  • Corinne Saunders Hersey

    I live in eastern Canada where we are fighting for a moratorium. Our government is releasing “regulations” tomorrow – although regulations have already been broken and there was absolutely NO penalty. Where we are already drilling, most people have lost their water and their properties have no value. The government and the industry have both refused to accept any responsibilty – except to give them drinking water. You may want to take a look at and This is a video created by people in the local area… no Gasland, just what is happening to these poor people. Now, our government is going to open up our province. Everyone is loaded with shale gas and all gas companies are promising billions in profits (trillions in Australia)… yet everyone will have it! What nonsense. Do not let this happen in the UK.

    • moonrakin

      Hang on a minute – that’s a mine – no mention of drilling or enhanced gas recovery….

    • Dan Byles MP

      The issue you have linked to is about a potash mine in Canada, it has nothing to do with fracking or unconventional oil or gas. In the UK we have subsidence issues relating to coal mining, but we have pretty robust legislation to deal with it. The mine owner has clear liability, and the Coal Authority retains liability for subsidence and hazards for mines that no longer have liable owner/operator. I have a coal mine in my constituency and I have seen the system work in practice.

  • Harold Angryperson

    This will be the biggest economic kick up the backside for the North West since the invention of the cotton loom. Seems a no-brainer to me…

  • BuBBleBus

    As Luke Ashley says this is such a pointless debate: at the moment. But hey politicians like to talk, it’s just that they are short on the action. It is pointless because NOBODY knows what the shale gas resources are in the UK, they have never been tested to prove commerciality. By all means have a debate when more is known about the stuff, instead of saying we think there might be 100 years supply of shale gas, but on the other hand . . ? Wow, 130tcf sounds great, but are you guilty of wishful thinking? Wouldn’t be the first time. In the meantime, WE ALL KNOW that on 31Dec 2013, the UK’s borders are open to many more migrants… what is your Govt doing about that, Dan? Now that’s a fact. UK shale gas is still waiting to be tested, until it is, please don’t waste everybody’s time, and money.

    • Daniel Maris

      I am not at all cycnical about the role of politicians in all this. Politics and energy have always been intricately linked, not least because it is such a strategic resource. A nation without a secure energy supply would be easily picked off in a military conflict.

      Where countries are well run, governments help in setting a framework for energy generation. Of course governments can’t do it all, but then can help provide a sensible framework that benefits the national economy.

      • BuBBleBus

        Just who is threatening the UK militarily right now? There is no debate on UK shale gas to be had until DECC give the go ahead for Cuadrilla to test the gas rate coming out of their wells and we all get to hear the results. It’s all just TV show gobshite until then.

        • Daniel Maris

          China is launching attacks in the cyber world on a daily basis. Iran is developing missiles that will reach Britain. Russia thinks it has a right to assassinate people on our territory. A proto Caliphate – consisting of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Turkey – has been established and has us firmly in its sights. If you want to live in a make believe world where no one threatens us, that is your privilege.

      • FrenchNewsonlin

        You ought to be very cynical. Politicians on all sides have allowed themselves to be captured by warmists touting expensive and unreliable solutions while the real solution to the base load problem — new nuclear energy plants (hopefully thorium powered) — has been kicked into the long grass. Remember those politicians you speak of when blackouts and brownouts hit somewhere around 2018-20.

  • In2minds

    Mr Byles –

    Thank you for your reply. In my original post for the sake of brevity I
    concentrated on just one point, however –

    “Just how much shale gas is realistically recoverable, and at what price?
    What are the real environmental effects of fracking, and what would
    be the effect on local communities”?

    As it stands many communities feel they have been left out of a
    meaningful debate about energy. They see useless windfarms being
    built with their money regardless of the environmental effects. The
    know that this form of energy is unrealistic in the UK without the
    continuous support of conventional power stations or similar
    dependable power sources.

    And I fail to see why the WWF is involved. For example what can the World
    Wildlife Fund offer on the subject of fracking to people of
    Blackpool? If there was a Blackpool Wildlife Fund that might be
    different but what we have her is simply grandstanding.

    The WWF website starts off with an appeal to adopt a tiger. Also may I
    remind us that the WWF took part in promoting the dodgy IPCC AR4
    report of a few years ago. How can we trust them?

  • Luke Ashley

    Shale gas along with the oil and gas extraction as a whole is a way of making easy money for the industry, the Gov and investors. This is the only reason other sources of energy are not pursued. They don`t make as much profit for the few.

    • itdoesntaddup

      So that is why the industry, government etc. have opted instead for windmills and carbon tax trading that seem to make certain people rather rich at the expense of the rest of us?

  • Luke Ashley

    I`m not an environmentalist, eco-warrior, left winger or Green party member. I am a well informed, ordinary concerned citizen using knowledge and wisdom for the benefit of future generations. So if any readers/commenter’s are pro frackers and want to respond to my post by name calling (cos that`s all you are good for) don`t label me as any of the above. Being an ex rig worker, my initial interest was purely job prospects. But after 3 years of intensive research, I`m well aware of the reasons for and against shale gas extraction. I have come to the conclusion that the dangers and impacts far outweigh the mega financial gains of the elite few. Vote me down all you like. I`m no glory seeker like some of you. I`m here to speak the WHOLE truth about shale gas and fracking.

    • Daniel Maris

      Well I am, as a green energy supporter, certainly sceptical about the benefits of fracking and shale gas. But perhaps you can explain a bit more about why you think there is such a downside. I can see there are a number of issues: pollution of water courses, subsidence, earthquake damage, land use, the threat to wildlife, lorry movements in rural areas etc.

      My feeling is that this is a far more crowded country than the USA and that, as a result, the economics are unlikely to add up in the same way. I suspect that in fact gas imports from big gas producers as LNG are likely to remain cheaper than home produced shale gas.

      • Luke Ashley

        It`s not just about the impacts you mentioned above here and now. The WHOLE hydrocarbon industry is guilty of many serious crimes all over the world. Out of court settlements alone amount to billions. Crimes in the form of oil spills in the North Sea are being committed every week. You may have missed the Elgin Platform gas leak it was played down that much but was so nearly another Piper Alpha. The fact is that oil and gas wells DO and WILL leak eventually. Even the industry themselves admit there is no known way of permanently sealing a well for good. But now they want to add millions more wells to the mix by fracking. ALL these wells will eventually leak. Did you know about the Biddulph Moor gas well leak. Two wells Shell drilled and plugged and abandoned in 1982 were looked at again by Alkane energy last year. They found them both to be leaking. Had they not been interested in re-entering those wells, how long would they have gone unchecked? How many more onshore wells are abandoned around the UK that are leaking and that nobody is monitoring and even if they were, who is going to spend the money to fix them? Earthquake activity is on the increase too. We had one in Anglesy the other week. Ground movement and increased formation pressures due to increased rainfall saturating the land is another cause for concern. There are many many risks and unknowns and some impacts are irreversible. So why bother? Why not just go for other energy sources that are proven to be safer and cleaner??

        • Daniel Maris

          Well you certainly don’t have to persuade me that green energy is better than hydrocarbon. But I certainly see gas as having a role to play in bridging the gap until we have a 100% green energy economy. I think we just don’t have enough facts yet about whether it is better to import the gas or try and extract it here.

        • FrenchNewsonlin

          Agree on the capped wells issue. Fracking means hundreds of small and short lived wells drilled and capped in a specific area and the issues you mention are already reportedly a problem in some parts of the US. Thorium-fulled nuclear plants look far more attractive especially as they can burn and dispose of the waste from conventional nuclear plants.

      • itdoesntaddup

        You’ve demonstrated your lack of knowledge about the economics of gas. Often the biggest cost is getting gas from the wellhead to the customer. That’s something we have to worry much less about in our small country, where the wells will never be very far from the customer, and much closer than the wells in the North Sea that have already been commercially exploited at much lower gas prices. Compare instead the deal that BG signed for LNG from Sabine Point, Louisiana. The price is Henry Hub wholesale gas price, plus 15% to cover liquefaction loss, plus $2.25/MMBtu to cover plant investment and profit FOB. Freight and re-gasification and in-transit loss will add further to the bill. US shale gas is geologically no easier, and probably on average harder, to exploit than the finds in the UK. BG will almost certainly end up selling that LNG to markets where they don’t have adequate domestic supply – such as Japan or perhaps Germany. The landed cost of US LNG works out at more than double the price for the shale gas that supplied it.

        • Daniel Maris

          Yes, it’s all very well throwing in a bit of techno-jargon but you are not acknowledging the differences between America and Europe.

          Firstly I was not arguing about US LNG. I was thinking of what mid East and Russian producers will do. Are they already operating near cost levels? Or are they drawing substantial profits? Why won’t they drop their prices substantially to hold on to markets?

          Also, I draw your attention to one simple fact: Agricultural land in Dakota costs about £25-35 an acre. In Lancashire agricultural land seems to cost about £15,000 an acre.

          Moreover, in the USA it’s the private landowners that own the gas, here it is the Crown. In other words, there is far less incentive for private landowners to get involved in gas extraction.

          Finally, I imagine in the USA land ownership is on a much grander scale. It will be much more difficult in the UK to ride over objections from landowners as there will be so many of them. The planning process will be much more drawn out and much more expensive in the UK.

          PS We don’t know the true position on shale gas extraction yet. A lot of these operators are trying to find a way into the market. They have been enjoying grants and speculative investment. It’s not yet clear how profitable their operations are. We probably won’t know that for a few years. At the moment it looks like there is a glut of gas.

          • itdoesntaddup

            Land costs are trivial in exploiting shale gas. That’s part of the point: a large amount of energy can be extracted from a small site – unlike windmills – and the location can be much more flexible than for windmills too, and hence far less disruptive.

            I advocate ensuring that local tax revenue and therefore local communities benefit from shale exploitation. There will in any event be a boost to employment, and the potential for low cost energy as further incentives.

            • Daniel Maris

              Land costs are not trivial. They are indicative of opportunity cost and what the landowner will charge for access to his land. Unless you are advocating that central government just ride roughshod over people’s property rights.

              You might advocate that local communities should benefit from shale exploitation but that hasn’t been done for wind energy, so that is not a level playing field you are advocating (though I would agree with the proposal).

              You can dismiss out of hand a KPMG report if you like, but that’s not v. credible.

              • itdoesntaddup

                If we take your figure of £15,000 per acre and compare it with your figure for the cost of drilling a single well which is well into the millions, and bear in mind that many wells can be drilled from a site of 2 acres, you can see that the land cost is trivial. I know you find real economics and real numbers mentally challenging, but really this isn’t a difficult one.

                Look here:


                and see how little space the main drillsite for Wytch Farm occupies: it’s about 5 acres for the the two adjoining sites combined. There are over a hundred wells at Wytch Farm.

                I agree that KPMG reports are not very credible: who was the piper calling the tune for this one?

                • Daniel Maris

                  So are you saying that when they drill for shale gas in the USA in Dakota, they work off a two acre site and pay £50 per annum to the landowner? That’s not v. credible. Clearly the real rental is going to be a huge multiple of the basic cost (just as it is when residential development gets the go ahead on agricultural land).

                  There will be all sorts of costs involved, not least the UK Government trying to maximise licence revenue, which they will do in effect by driving up the cost of gas.

                  Add to that the planning costs – do you really think adjacent landowners are going to be happy about drilling under their land?

                • itdoesntaddup

                  You were the one quoting land values. I simply used your figures. As you are aware, in the US the mineral rights are separately tradeable, whereas in the UK they belong to the Crown: the potential value of such rights depends on the proven economics of development – i.e. seismic evaluation, tax regime, etc. and the degree of competition among producers and landowners/governments.

                  Drilling that happens to pass under someone’s property is not of itself a matter for the landowner in the UK, unless it causes actual damage. Wytch Farm wells go right under multi-million pound houses on Sandbanks. Precisely because there is flexibility in the location of drilling sites and little land is required, there will be competition between landowners and pressure on all sides to select sites that are not disruptive of local people: that suits producers as much as it suits the locals for security and minimising hassle. It will still leave a choice of sites.

        • Daniel Maris

          Just to add to my other comment…

          The website states that “KPMG’s Central and Eastern European Gas Outlook (2012) point[ed] out, shale gas development in Poland can cost, on average, three times more than in the United States. The drilling of a 2000-meter horizontal well averages €3.2 million in the United States, compared to €8.9 million in Poland.”

          If it costs three times as much in Poland, how much more will it cost in the UK? My guess would be another twice as much again. So – a factor of 6 in terms of land prices.

          • itdoesntaddup

            KPMG are management accountants, not oil and gas experts. There is no reason why costs in the UK should be any higher than in the US for similar geology. We’ve nearly 50 years experience of drilling for gas. We have records for horizontal wells in the North Sea and Wytch Farm. As I pointed out above, Bowland shale is easier geology to exploit than Marcellus shale. Costs in Poland are irrelevant, so I won’t bother researching them.

  • Luke Ashley

    I`m an ex North Sea oil and gas drill crew worker and been researching the shale gas industry for the last 3 years. Only an ill informed money grabbing right wing MP would lift the ban on fracking. I KNOW the facts already and can save you the bother of a pointless debate. You are MP`s. Just do your job. What makes you think a panel of MP`s can get to the facts about an industry you know nothing about? The time it takes you to find out what I already know (ten + years) we could have been half way to supplying all of UK energy needs by alternative, cleaner, safer, cheaper and sustainable sources. Concentrate all your efforts on how to cut demand by making homes and business more energy efficient and stop the UL wasting so much energy. Come on. It`s not rocket science. I don`t pay my taxes to pay you lot to have pointless debates about stuff we already know. Ban fracking now. Be a forward thinker, not a fossil fool.

    • moonrakin

      Nope you’re a multi-named serial troll.

    • Dan Byles MP

      Erm…you do realise that the MP who lifted the fracking ‘pause’ was Ed Davey, a Liberal Democrat minister, don’t you? Hardly a ‘right wing MP’.

      • itdoesntaddup

        Someone must have pointed out to him that rolling blackouts aren’t exactly the best election platform. Ask Ted Heath.

  • moonrakin

    This isn’t aimed directly at Dan 🙂

    What is both astonishing and depressing is that eco-activists at DECC have been actively sabotaging a pilot unconventional gas program – and politicians have allowed them to do it. The way the Downing Street meeting on shale gas was handled was disgraceful. Civil servants have a legal duty to both objectivity and transparency which certain individuals are unequivocally breaching.

    The only way to find out is to give the go-ahead and (closely) monitor the results.and by this I don’t mean shut down for an imperceptible earth tremor. This are new and highly geology dependent techniques and the recovery and viability of the process will vary across the country.

    The squeaking wheels of the eco-activist movement have far too loud a voice in all this – why are you all scared of them?

    • Daniel Maris

      I don’t oppose shale gas. But when people point to the North American experience, I am suspicious. We are a much more crowded island and the geology is not the same. Rather than divert resources from green energy, we should see this technology as complementing green energy and delivering complete energy independence – certainly a valuable prize.

      • moonrakin

        I have to point out that green energy does *not* address base load in any meaningful way – any way you look at it.

        The erratic delivery of electricity from renewables isn’t sustainable in an engineering sense – at all – and must be supported by fossil/nuclear.

        Most of the “pointing” to the North American experience has been been from shrill and systematically dishonest activists (both pro and anti )

        There are questions about the economic viability of unconventional methane recovery and there are definitely some highly marginal projects out there – it’s a gold rush of sorts. As I said it’s highly geology dependent (obvious really).

        The only way to find out if it’ll work is to do it.

        Most of the highly emotive and constantly shifting attacks on unconventional gas are ideologically driven – witness the constant adjustment of alarmist targets when they are successively nullified by reality 🙂

        The primary questions are is it truly cost effective and is the amount of mess made acceptable to the local community?

        The only way to find out for a given area is to try it out with the co-operation and assent of the locals – it’s an opportunity for the Localism Agenda to be seen to work… or not.

        • Daniel Maris

          I suggest you google on Highview Power Storage. You’ll see that the problem of intermittency (which is in any case much exaggerated) is now being effectively addressed.

          Hydro, energy from waste, biofuels and geothermal at least can all be relied upon for base load. So can solar to a certain extent during daylight hours.

          No one is suggesting moving to wind and solar dominated energy generation overnight. There is plenty of time to develop the solutions to intermittency. We already have one type of solution in place, as we are connected into the European grid through France and the Netherlands.

          It is very difficult to disentangle the economics and the propaganda when it comes to energy. I presume you accept that nuclear has been an economic disaster as we are now faced with a price tag of £67 billion of cleaning up the nuclear mess left over. Nuclear is not more reliable than wind by the way. Don’t you know we had 4 stations on downtime at one time in the UK. In France a huge part of the nuclear industry had to shut down during their very hot summers. In Japan, we know that 9GW of nuclear failed on a permanent basis and is having to be replaced by other technologies including wind power.

          • Hexhamgeezer

            ‘In Japan, we know that 9GW of nuclear failed on a permanent basis and is having to be replaced by other technologies including wind power.’

            Go on – what %age is being replaced by wind?

            Any news on your imminent cold fusion?

            • Daniel Maris

              Last I heard it was about 1.5GW wind replacing the 9GW of nuclear.
              I suspect they will look to gas in the short term.

              There’s a lot happening in the cold fusion field: patents, experimentation and investment. Rossi has not yet come up with the goods.

              Incidentally I never said we should rely on cold fusion/LENR, only that it appeared plausible this new energy source was likely to erupt on the scene v. shortly, which would suggest a precautionary approach to technologies like old nuclear is in order.

              • Hexhamgeezer

                Wind farms serve only as giant vanity projects for well connected middle class environmentalists funded by pensioners and the working class, and to harvest subsidies for multinationals. they wont replace a single power station such is their irrelevance to the debate on industrial level power generation.

                If you don’t believe that cold fusion is round the corner then don’t bring it and wind into serious debates on how to supply regular power now to 60 million people.

            • Mick J

              Hi, it looks like Japan will be getting a chunk of its energy from US shale and at cheaper rates than their current suppliers.

              “Japanese Power Utility To Buy US Shale Gas
              2/7/2013 3:08 AM ET

              The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has reached a broad agreement with two major Japanese trading houses to purchase 800,000 tons of U.S. shale gas annually as part of cutting down fuel costs, Japanese media reported on Thursday.

              According to Japan’s NHK broadcaster, the 20-year-contract would begin in 2017.

              Asia’s biggest power utility, TEPCO was also in the final stages of negotiations with other businesses to purchase 1.2 million tons of shale gas per annum. It says using shale gas, which is somewhat cheaper than conventional natural gas, would help cut overall fuel costs by around $530 million a year.”


          • moonrakin

            Daniel, you seem unacquainted with the concept of power density. and the actual quantity of power required to supply the UK present requirements.

            The piffling amount from the sources you mention just do not add up.

            Hydro is subject to the weather – and in the UK it regularly exceeds the windmills in output.
            Biofuels are a sorry farce
            Geothermal – where’s that exactly?
            Solar is weather dependent too (+ eyewateringly expensive).

            Oh right! we can run an extension cable over to the neighbor’s place – grand, I understand some folk want to run an extension cable to the Sahara?.

            Disentangling the economics from the propaganda? Power generation and supply is an engineering issue and it is now a pressing issue.

            Nuclear is not more reliable than wind? What planet are you on?

            It troubles me that one of the features not presently implemented in the proposed smart metering program is the connection of certain folk to a system that turns the voltage on and off, and up and down according to the availability of green electrons and charges at cost price for those people connected to the “eco tariff”.

            You don’t live in Brighton do you?

            • Daniel Maris

              Moonrankin –

              No, I am fully acquainted with the concept of power density (and how it differs from energy density). Not sure what you are saying. I am not sure you are fully acquainted with how rarely one needs to top up wind energy even if it amounts on average to 30% of the total electricity generation mix.

              “Hydro is subject to weather”. Thank you for that wonderful insight, but you’ll also find nuclear is subject to weather as in France and Japan. Biofuels are perfectly efficient and can supply base load. There are plenty of sites we could develop for geothermal in the UK. I am not a great fan of it though for a number of reasons, including earthquake risk. But it is a reliable supplier of baseload.

              No, not we CAN run a cable across to our European neighbours….we ALREADY HAVE run such a cable and it is one of those things that helps us balance energy generation to meet needs.

              Nuclear not more reliable than wind…er I am on planet Earth which includes Japan during tsunamis, France during hot weather and the UK during multiple maintenance crises. All energy sources have down time – didn’t you know that? Nuclear’s is pretty high – something like 12% if I remember rightly.

              No I live in London, not London-by-the-Sea. 🙂

              Do you think the IMechEng have some issues with the laws of thermodynamics. Liquid nitrogen is a well understood technology. The warming is achieved via solar power (the ambient temperature of the atmosphere – readily available everywhere). If you are going into battle against the Engineers, you need to explain why exactly the efficiencies (which are well within the laws of thermodynamics – I think they are aiming for 50% efficiency if I remember correctly) are not achievable…cue deadly silence.

              For people confused by this exchange, let me also explain that the problem with wind turbines is that they often produce energy when the grid doesn’t need it and so it receives a v. low – or sometimes non-existent – price from the elec companies.

              If you have something like Highpower’s system, you can get a much higher price for the “saved” wind energy. This clearly completely changes the economics of wind turbines, in a positive way.

              So, we are most certainly NOT looking for the obviously impossible 100% efficiency in storage. 50% will do very nicely and make the whole system much more competitive with gas.

            • itdoesntaddup

              They have geothermal in Southampton. A project supported by the Huhney tunes there, which has a well about 200 yards from the Central Station (in the Toys R Us car park if you want to look on Google). It is bringing up warm formation water that is used for a small CHP installation. As an illustration of how a city centre shale gas operation might look, it’s quite informative…

          • itdoesntaddup

            I looked at the presentation. 1500m2 space required for a 20MW/5 hour storage solution. Wind power can be close to zero for a week to 10 days at a time. No mention of actual capital costs. Just to support the existing windmills would require concreting over something about the area of London.

            • Daniel Maris


              1500M2 sounds scary of course – that’s only 38 metres by 38.

              “Close to zero” for ten days consecutively across the whole of the UK is nonsense. Please back that up with some citations.

              Managing electricity generation is a complex business but this study referred to in Scientific American shows that the difficults of managing intermittent renewables are much exaggerated. If you bring in solar to reinforce generation during peak demand, you can achieve 99.9% reliability.


              This is, in any case, really a non argument. No one is suggesting we abandon conventional energy overnight. Denmark is already producing 41% of its electricity from renewables and 28% from wind.

              There have been no grid failures, as far as I am aware.

              • itdoesntaddup

                1500m2 is only for 20MW and 5 hours storage. Scale that up to provide storage for windmills in existence now (let alone the planned number) to provide coverage against a winter blocking high lasting 10 days.

                Denmark has the most expensive electricity in the EU. It’s still running its coal station that provides power equal to half its demand. It relies on surrounding countries both to take power surpluses and to cover shortages. It is fortunate enough to be connected to the grids of Norway, Sweden, and Germany – and to be small.

                I note you are already defending against an issue I haven’t raised in this thread: grid failure. I can’t comment on the non-working link, but bear in mind that what works in sunny California doesn’t necessarily work in the UK. Grid failure is already a live issue. That’s why Germany is busy building coal power stations.

                • Daniel Maris

                  Yes, but if you knew anything about the subject, you’d know that it’s not a one-for-one cover requirement. Other renewables technologies e.g. hydro, biomass, biofuels and energy from waste are all flexible and can be used to, in effect, store energy. At the same as Germany is showing, we can also store solar and wind as methane (i.e. produce methane) which can be stored in the existing natural gas network.

                  It’s not just Denmark connected to other countries. We also are connected to a continental grid. The wind is always blowing somewhere in Europe.

                  You do know that Denmark is phasing out its coal power stations? It has already closed one.

                  California has had grid failures with conventional power.

                  There has never been a recorded instance of a grid failure due to use of renewables. There have been grid failures due to use of nuclear and conventional power, the latter being v. susceptible to industrial action (unlike wind turbines).

                  Just put an h where the asterisk is for the link.

                  Note: Windmill is a wind powered unit used to grind things in a mill. I think you mean wind turbines.

          • Makroon

            moonrakin has given you a good, balanced summary of the situation, and you just reply with endless, uninformed, random, anecdotes.
            Why don’t you try listening and learning ?

            • Daniel Maris

              Which part of my comment do you dispute? And if it’s random it’s because I’m responding to his disjointed assertions.

          • itdoesntaddup

            We regularly have over 95% of wind capacity on shutdown.

            • Daniel Maris

              Itdoesntaddup –

              That’s a nonsense statement and you know it is. Capacity is simply the maximum that a wind energy system can run at. It’s NEVER expected to run at more than about 30% of capacity on average (depending on local wind conditions) anymore than a hydro facility is expected to run at 100% of capacity all the time.

              So your 95% claim is actually closer to 82%. But I would challenge you to justify that figure and the use of the word “regularly”.

    • itdoesntaddup

      The geology of the Bowland shale in Lancashire is remarkably similar to that of the Marcellus shale in the North East US. Generally, the Bowland shale is a thicker stratum at a slightly greater depth – both advantageous characteristics. Thicker implies more gas per well, and greater depth reduces sub surface water table contamination risk.

    • Makroon

      You are correct.
      We need a “public debate”, or better, a public inquiry, into these shadowy “environmental lobby groups” to uncover who exactly they are, what is their real agenda, who are the sinister figures behind them and how are they funded.

      • John_Page

        No, a public enquiry would hold things up for years while our lights went out. Just what the green authoritarians want.

  • Daniel Maris

    Some All Parliammentary Groups might be better characterised as free dinner societies, being targets for the lobbyists. I am sure this is not the case with the “Unconventional Oil and Gas” group.

    However, we do have to be very careful about special interest groups. We now learn that the clean up of the UK Nuclear Industry is going to cost us £67 billion, and we are already paying £1.5 billion per annum for that. How often have we been told nuclear would provide safe, secure and cheap energy? It’s none of those things.

    Highview Power Storage have solved the problem of energy storage for wind and solar – liquid nitrogen is the way forward. I hope the MP will call them to give evidence.

    We should have a big push now to shift to wind energy using that UK-based power storage technology. The export of that technology around the world will more than pay for the wind energy installation, as the global market over 10 years alone would be worth at least $600 billion.

    Shale gas is a dirty technology and unproven in this crowded country.

    The future of energy and strongly aeolian.

    • Dan Byles MP

      I entirely agree with your first point, about some All Party Groups. I am very clear that this will be a professional and well run APPG that will hear from all sides of the debate.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Suggest when discussing technical matters, you ignore the technically illiterate, the ignorant and the poorly educated. That will mean you must ignore most everybody, particularly those of you in government, but it’d be important for you to do so.

        • Dan Byles MP

          Lol. So who does that leave?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            The technically literate and the properly educated.

            And there is no gentle way to say this, but very, very, very few of you politicians are among that group. That’s the biggest challenge for you, fyi. You should explore that challenge quite heavily, and find some folks in that above group who you trust, to give you guidance.

            • Daniel Maris

              Like the IMechE? Or are you saying they are technically illiterate and not properly educated.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Yes, I have to admit as a student of history that modern Britain seems to be blighted with the biggest collection of stupid, gullible, knee-jerk, self-serving and irresponsible politicians we have ever had. None of you seem to understand the difference between a trendy fad and reality.

        • Daniel Maris

          Well you don’t have to listen to me. Listen to the respected professional body, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers: “As Dr Tim Fox, head of energy and environment at the IMechE, puts it: “Liquid
          air and liquid nitrogen are an exciting [energy storage] alternative we should
          explore. It seems to address many of the challenges we face and is affordable,
          uses mature components and is highly scalable.” “

          • moonrakin

            Tim Fox is an embarrassment to every mechanical engineer I’ve spoken with….

      • Daniel Maris

        I’m glad to hear that and respect the fact that you have taken the time and trouble to read some of the responses to your article. Thanks.

        • Dan Byles MP

          You’re welcome. Thanks for taking the time to read the article and to comment on it.

    • Russell

      he lights will go out if politicians keep kicking the can down the road. Labour have done nothing on nuclear in their 13 years and still after another 3 years the UK has no nuclear power stations being built.
      When the lights go out and/or imported energy costs make keeping warm impossible due to cost for the poorer elderley, what are these politicians going to say then?

      • Daniel Maris

        Russell –

        Did you read about how it’s going to cost us £67 billion to deal with nuclear waste and we are already spending £1.5 billion per annum dealing with the problem. That would give you 1.5GW of wind energy capacity gratis per year if we were able to use those resources. Of course we can’t, because we saddled ourselves with this appalling legacy from nuclear.

    • an ex-tory voter

      Shale gas is far less dirty than wind power. Wind power cannot provide base load and must always be backed up by hydro-carbon, or nuclear power stations, running at inefficient levels of output, thereby creating far more pollution than they otherwise would.
      In addition, wind power cannot operate without enormous public subsidy and hugely increased prices. Fuel poverty kills and wind power drives fuel poverty. Wind power impoverishes the least able to afford energy and it is killing people.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Yes, wind power is a value engineering loser, and there is no way to overcome that. It sucks cash out of society’s pockets, and erodes their standard of living. Best to ignore those who claim otherwise.

        • Russell

          Another success story from Labour & in particular the former energy minister Miliband! I wonder if he is going to admiy HE was wrong to support Brown’s 10 pence tax rate abolition as well as HIS support of windmills and subsidies paid to land owner labour supporters and lobbyists.

      • Luke Ashley

        When a wind turbine breaks down, it breaks down. When a gas drilling rig or gas well breaks down, there is potential for very serious irreversible damage..

        • Luke Ashley

          Thanks for voting me down for that. I`m sure some of my friends and workmates who lost their lives on the Piper Alpha would appreciate that too.

      • Luke Ashley

        Yes fuel poverty kills around 22,000 people in the UK per year. Nothing to do with rip off energy prices due to fixing by the oil and gas industry then. You pro frackers come out with the same old rubbish every time, voting yourselves up to make it look like you know what you`re talking about when you know nothing. When you get some opposition to your rubbish you resort to name-calling and attempt to place people into a minority group. There`s more ways to provide energy ya know. Go take a look on the energy collective and find out what`s happening in Germany where the sun don`t shine. There is so much more we should be focussing on for our future instead of living in the past with fossil fools.

        • itdoesntaddup

          The price fixing of UK domestic energy prices has been done by politicians in case you hadn’t noticed. The oil and gas industry have been price takers, not price makers, since about 1986 when the OPEC cartel was undermined by competition.

      • Daniel Maris

        On what basis is shale gas, which involves pumping huge quantities of chemicals into the ground, less dirty than wind energy?

        The claim that wind power cannot provide base load is not actually true at a continental grid level. However, unless someone is advocating wind generation of energy it is an irrelevant observation.

        Onshore wind energy is on a level with conventional coal and is cheaper than nuclear energy. That’s without taking account of the health savings from avoiding pollutants entering the atmosphere.

        Wind energy is capital intensive and so costs a lot upfront. The government has chosen to load the costs on to consumers through energy bills – a bad idea in my view. My opinion is the costs should be covered through stamp duty and people will then earn income from energy generation.

      • dalai guevara

        What huge public subsidies? Spell it out to me. Wait no, I will spell it out to you: the bill for the decommissioning of ONE SINGLE nuclear power plant is THREE TIMES HIGHER than any subsidies for wind paid cumulatively in the next decade.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Fair enough, then kill off all these subsidies you lefties are famous for, rather than adding to them as you are clamoring for now.

          • Daniel Maris

            Nuclear energy was a darling of Margaret Thatcher. She loved subsidising that. Just as she liked subsidising home ownership. Just as she liked subsidising farmers (she was a leading pro in the EEC referendum back in the 70s). Subsidies are not a fetish of the Left.

            The issue here is how come have we ended up with a situation where nuclear has so clearly been subsidised to absurd levels. And why has our government now committed us to a huge expansion of nuclear energy?

            There has been no open and honest debate on energy policy.

          • dalai guevara

            You want me to halt the Sellafield clean up programme for you (because that’s what it is)? And then what?
            We cannot ‘kill off’ the subsidies -£67bn and rising- for Sellafield alone! It is ABSOLUTELY ludicrous.
            We have a further NINE nuclear sites currently active. So what’s the plan? Pay a trillion bucks on SUBSIDIES for a cleanup?

            FAQin’ell, dude – you need to wake up ‘real fast’, your money’s pouring down that drain right now and it’s an industrial size drain pipe…

            • itdoesntaddup

              Sellafield is the site where nuclear fuel from around the world has been reprocessed and stored. It is not fundamentally a “power station site” – although the adjoining Calder Hall was an early experimental nuclear station.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              Yes, subsidies can be killed off.

              But instead, like all leftists, you want to add to them, with your windmill stupidity.

    • Latimer Alder

      You say

      ‘Highview Power Storage have solved the problem of energy storage for wind and solar’

      They have done no such thing.

      What they have done is

      ‘commenced field testing and industry demonstration of a Grid-connected
      pilot demonstrator’

      which is only one step up from a working mini-prototype. And they haven’t even finished testing that one.

      There is a long long long way to go – and many technical and regulatory hurdles to overcome – before you can say that they ‘have solved the problem’. And there is absolutely no guarantee that they will ever do so.

      You delude yourself if you place this highly experimental technology at the heart of your suggestions for an energy strategy. It is difficult to take the rest of your posts seriously if you demonstrate so little practical experience or understanding in this one.

  • ronwagn

    Producing and using natural gas is the best solution for base power, in conjunction with solar, wind, geothermal etc. There is plenty of natural gas all around the world, and it can be accessed with new and future technology. main concern for environmentalists worldwide should be to cut the use of coal, especially in antiquated plants. Here are the top ten coal burners:

    It is possible for the whole world to drastically cut coal burning and benefit the health of all. Coal pollution travels around the world.


    Natural gas is the future of energy. It is replacing dirty old coal plants, and dangerous expensive nuclear plants. It will fuel cars, trucks, vans, buses, locomotives, aircraft, ships, tractors, air conditioners, engines of all kinds. It costs far less. It will help keep us out of more useless wars, where we shed our blood and money. It is used to make many products. It lowers CO2 emissions, and pollution. Over 4,700 natural gas story links on my free blog. An annotated and illustrated bibliography of live links, updated daily. The worldwide picture of natural gas. Read in 71

    • Dan Byles MP

      Global coal use is indeed the elephant in the room with regards to climate change. According to the IEA, between 2012 and 2035 there will be 600GW of new, unabated coal fired generation coming on line around the world.

      • Bickers

        Dan it’s a shame that you & most of the political class have been captured by the Climate Change/AGW rent seekers. Empirical evidence & observation show there is no danger from CO2. AGW has been exaggerated & the IPCC are a discredited organisation whose mandate was skewed to blame mankind regardless of the empirical evidence.

        Please check out Professor Richard Lindzen, who understands what drives climate more than all the so called experts.

      • Colonel Mustard

        So tiny Britain should sit in a cold room with the lights turned off feeling righteous whilst other huge countries heat and illuminate the planet? Ridiculous. We can’t afford it. Get real and ditch this nonsense.

  • In2minds

    Mr Byles –

    I see you will be talking to industry, government officials,
    universities, the Institute of Directors, all the great and the good
    you can find, even the green lobby.

    But what you have not mentioned is the general public, why? Just to
    remind you we are the ones who vote and are stuck with a
    dysfunctional energy policy that won’t work. We deserve better than

    • Dan Byles MP

      Of course, we’ll also be talking to local communities who may be affected by shale gas development, and to consumer groups such as Consumer Focus. The list was not intended to be exhaustive. Dan

      • Russell

        It is not just local communities who may be affected by shale gas development. The whole population are dependent on affordable energy, and with all the green subsidies being paid for by us currently, we surely have a right to be heard once the financial case is established, or we will not be able to afford heating and lighting in our homes..

      • Makroon

        The very last thing we need is a “public debate” led by a bunch of know-nothing MPs, who will listen to every passing irresponsible “green” lobbyist.

        In case you haven’t noticed, we have just ended a lengthy “consultation period”.

        As a highly experienced mineral economist and earth scientist, I have to tell you that in matters of reserve estimation, the BGS is worse than useless.

        Nobody knows the size of the resource, but the BGS’ timid, academic “estimates” are nonsense and will be rapidly revised by orders of magnitude.

        Take a look at the BGS estimates of the ultimate potential of the North Sea in (say) 1960.
        The fact that you take this tosh seriously, is a strong argument against you having any place in the “debate”.
        This is a highly technical subject, with zero room for a “public debate”.
        The function of government is to regulate, not second guess the professionals.

        Please, just get out of the way, and let the industry go to work.

        As a postscript, I personally do not know one earth scientist, (amongst dozens of Geologists, Geochemists and Geophysicists), who is not highly sceptical about AGW – despite what the “climatologists” (think astrology) and their paltry data-bases and simplistic models try to tell you.

    • andagain

      you have not mentioned is the general public

      You cannot talk to the general public,because there are too many of them. The most you can do is talk to a random sample of them. It is called polling.

  • AnotherDaveB

    “Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper went to unusually great lengths to learn firsthand the strides the oil and gas industry has made to minimize environmental harm from fracking.

    The first-term Democrat and former Denver mayor told a Senate committee on Tuesday that he actually drank a glass of fracking fluid produced by oilfield services giant Halliburton.

    The fluid is made entirely “of ingredients sourced from the food industry,” the company says, making it safe for Mr. Hickenlooper and others to imbibe.”

    • Striebs

      AnotherDaveB ,

      Just a tip , be careful about using the word “produced” as it has a particular connotation in oil and gas .

      You would not want to drink “produced formation water” or flowed back frac’ing fluids .

      The Senator’s demonstrate illustrated that it’s not what is pumped down a
      well that is the issue as this can be controlled , it’s what is already
      there that will be brought to the surface .

      The facts will not make any difference to those people who have a closed mind on the subject . They can never be convinced that we should go ahead .

      What amazes me is that politicians think we have a free choice in the energy
      sources we use . The country is losing it’s battle to stay afloat and
      I’m sure you know about that drowning expression of going down for the
      third time .

      To any politicians listening . Please give up all considerations of climate change as the UK is not big enough to make any difference and dissolve your CCC as an example of leading from the front with cost saving and turn the DECC back into the Department of Energy .

      As for carbon dioxide capture and storage , more correctly named oxygen capture and storage , we can’t afford to burn 1/3rd more fuel to overcome the 25% overhead of capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide , except when it can be used for enhanced oil recovery .

      Just get the cheapest sources of energy possible for the UK ; US , Australian , German or Polish coal whilst home grown coal is ramping up , underground coal gasification and shale gas and tight oil .

      Wait for next generation nuclear to come along because when it does it really will blow renewables out of the water and they will never , repeat never , be developed .

      • Luke Ashley

        So you think what is pumped down can be controlled eh?? Don`t listen to this jerk folks. He doesn`t have a clue. Just google this, Water fouled with fracking chemicals spews near WindsorI`m sick to death of idiots trying to reassure the public that It`s ok to frack and that their ONLY argument FOR going ahead with fracking is the economy and money. Absolute rubbish. You are misleading the public. Stop it now.

        • moonrakin

          You don’t have an alter ego of DumpingBan that roves/trolls the provincial press do you perchance?

        • Victor Southern

          That was Windsor in the USA. Rather remote.

        • Striebs

          It was fairly obvious from my paragraph that what I meant was that the chemical constituent of what is pumped down a well can be controlled and that I did not claim that where it goes can be controlled .

          In the US there are literally thousands of abandoned wells which don’t appear on any maps and which were not properly plugged when they were abandoned . This is the only route to the surface which I’ve come across which has allowed frac’ing fluids to reach the surface .

          Thankfully in Europe the drilling of wells has always been properly regulated and documented so the problem of old improperly abandoned wells is a non-issue .

          Try googling live near real-time microseismic , establishing a baseline of water quality , ongoing monitoring , 3d seismic .

    • moonrakin

      John Hickenlooper must be a grandstanding idiot.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Actually, he’s a geologist and businessman, who apparently went into politics later in life. So he’s got some of the knowledge, experience and education required of this discussion, unlike most, particularly politicians.

        And his stunt seems to be very effective, which is likely why the antis seem to be viscerally striking out at him over it.

        • Daniel Maris

          Stunts have no place in deciding energy policy. Over here in blighty we remember Gummer’s stunt with the beefburger when he could have been feeding his child with BSE.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …I think you mean, the ignorant and uneducated have no place in deciding energy policy.

            • Daniel Maris

              If you’re referring to yourself, then yes.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                No, I was referring to the ignorant and uneducated.

                • Daniel Maris

                  Yes, and you were looking in the mirror when you pointed your finger. 🙂

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Is that what the voices are telling you?

                • Daniel Maris

                  No, that’s what your tape loop mentality was telling me.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, it’s the voices talking to you again, apparently.

                • Daniel Maris

                  Repetition confirms the tape loop mentality. Feel free to repeat yourself.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  You’re ignorant and uneducated. That is all needs saying to or about you.

            • Daniel Maris

              Tape loops have no business pretending to engage in meaningful debate.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                Well, whatever “tape loops” are, I’d suggest they not engage the ignorant and uneducated, as you.

                It’s a waste of time.

          • Vulture

            Could have – but wasn’t. Gummer’s daughter has not contracted BSE. IT was another empty scare like your fracking scare stories.

            We don’t need a ‘debate’ on this one for chrissake – we need to get drilling now.

            • Daniel Maris

              Go tell that to the people with CJD.

        • moonrakin

          I know that – Halliburton execs have been pulling this stunt for ages. They obviously haven’t acquainted themselves with the realities of drilling and enhanced recovery – as I said above this is all very, very geology dependent and different fluid cocktails are required in different areas (and at different phases of the recovery enhancement process) and other fluids whizz up and down the well at other times – most of which I would not care to slurp.

          The point I’m trying to make is that if the chemicals are in the right place and properly handled then risks are minimal. Right now I have half a pint of quite concentrated hydrochloric acid in my stomach – am I a chemhazard?

          There are millions of chemicals that in the wrong quantities in the wrong place can cause harm – the issues are education, objectivity and transparency.

          I appreciate what Hickenlooper was trying to do – but a demonstration of a successfully operating recovery operation would be the best advert – as would calling out the fruit loops.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            There is no shortage of successfully operating recovery operations, as I’d hope we’re all aware of, so there’s no need for that from him.

            I’d gather his aim was to make a splash, and as I say, he did a remarkable job of that.

    • Daniel Maris

      Are you a child to be mesmerised by such stunts?

      Are you denying that fracking fluids include:

      “kerosene, benzene, toluene, xylene, and formaldehyde.” (Wikipedia)

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …another Wikipedia scholar, schooling the world on matters technical.

        We are not worthy. 😉

        • Daniel Maris

          Sorry VG, are you suggesting I’ve only ever consulted Wikipedia on chemicals used in fracking? 🙂 I’ve read hundreds of articles on the subject and I am sure if you google on it, you’ll find many of them. Do you never do any research yourself?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            I’m not “suggesting” anything, son. I’m pointing out the fact that you’re ignorant and uneducated, on this and so much more.

            • Daniel Maris

              Your problem is that my arguments don’t depend on my intelligence or level of education. I happily rest them on real experience: for instance, 41% renewables generation of electricity in Denmark for instance, with wind energy providing 28%; Highview’s demonstration of the storage technology and so on.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                Your arguments depend on nothing, and are worth nothing, because you’re ignorant and uneducated.

                • Daniel Maris

                  And you’re a tape loop.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Whatever a “tape loop” is, by default it’s less ignorant and more educated than the ignorant and uneducated, as you.

                • Daniel Maris

                  There you go again…tape looping.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Is that anything like pretending to be an engineer, even if ignorant and uneducated?

      • dalai guevara

        The issue here is that all these fluids will be slowly infused, to slowly release the gas, which is then slowly collected and slowly served to UK households….not to upset the market of course, not to see any price falls, not to be of any benefit to the customer, but to the corporations who are currently lobbying heavily to position themselves.