Week Ending 9th March 2014

News highlights

Green energy company Ecotricity announced the launch of a new film about shale gas, to be premiered at a launch with Green Party MP Caroline Lucas on the 6th.

Raithlin Energy denied it was planning to frack in East Yorkshire, but documents sent to the Environment Agency confirm they will mini-frac two wells.

At a shale gas conference in the north, a Cuadrilla geologist claimed the Bowland Shale reserves were bigger than had previously been thought. Huw Clarke upgraded the estimate from 200 to 330 tcf in Cuadrilla's licence area.
But Durham University professor Andy Aplin said to exploit the Bowland shale might require 33,000 wells. Lord Oxburgh also commented on the number of wells and admitted there would be problems

'The experience in the US suggests that the output of shale gas or oil from fracked wells declines very quickly, increasing the need to drill new wells.
"The rate of flow drops by 85% over three years, a conventional well could still be getting high flow rates after 30 years," he said.
"There are other limiting factors in the UK, including the size and density of the population. And the process of fracking was extremely noisy.
"I think it is going to be a limiting factor near towns, these are brutes, these big pumping machines." '

A calculation by fracking group Refracktion showed that Cuadrilla's ambition for their PEDL area would need 750 wellpads. A clear impossibility.

Two consultants on hydrogeology and radiology reported in the Ecologist that the fracking industry had neither the plan nor the technology to deal with the radioactive waste that the process would produce. Also in the Ecologist Paul Mobbs declared shale gas the death spasm of a defunct economic order.

BP hived off its failing shale arm to make its figures look better.

Police abuses continued at Barton Moss, whilst IGas share price continued its decline. Leaked documents confirmed the delays to the company's plans were because of the protests.

A boost to the protector camp came with a poll result from the Manchester Evening News, which showed three quarters of Manchester people are opposed to fracking at Barton Moss.

Peel Holdings, partners-in-crime with IGas, started court action to have the camp from what it claimed was its land. Legal argument was whether Peel actually leased out the land on which tents were pitched, in which case they had no case. Also the protectors claimed their human rights would be violated if evicted. A decision is expected next Monday 10th.

Meanwhile, a new information camp was established at Daneshill Lakes nature reserve to counter Dart Energy's plan to frack nearby for CBM. The camp is supported by local residents from Sutton-cum-Lound, near Redford in Nottinghamshire, just south of Doncaster. Council chiefs ordered all work to cease at Daneshill "Energy Forest" after the owners Dart Energy Limited failed to construct an adequate access road to the site, where a well is being dug to extract coal-based methane from the ground. Members of the anti-fracking group, Frack Free South Yorkshire, had held a demonstration at the site two days earlier and said the planning breach was further evidence the project was not fit for purpose.

Any opinions here not quotes from the week's news reports are my own.
Alan Tootill

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