Thursday, 19 April 2012

A bright future for shale gas in the UK

This what British consumers need.
 "In March U.K. households paid between £9.60 to £11.19 ($15.36 and $17.88) per million BTUs for natural gas, compared to spot prices in the U.S. of about £1.25, or $2". 

The UK is now well poised to become a shale gas pioneer in Europe:

The British government will allow shale-gas exploration to resume in northern England. Monday's preliminary finding from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), to be finalized this summer, comes nearly a year after Lichfield-based Cuadrilla Resources suspended its hydraulic-fracturing activities near Blackpool. The finding could be the harbinger of some very good news for consumers in the U.K. and throughout Europe.

The DECC report confirms that Cuadrilla's test-fracking likely caused two small tremors last year. But the report also said the company could proceed exploring the area if it follows a new set of expensive safety measures. Cuadrilla clearly thinks those measures are worth it: Initial estimates suggest that the land under exploration could hold up to 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, of which between 10% and 30% is likely recoverable. Even the 10% figure would more than triple Britain's current proven reserves and could make the country a net exporter of gas.
Fortunately, efforts by the "GG consortium" (Greens and Gazprom) to prevent the European shale gas revolution are going nowhere: 

British energy users need all the help they can get. In March U.K. households paid between £9.60 to £11.19 ($15.36 and $17.88) per million BTUs for natural gas, compared to spot prices in the U.S. of about £1.25, or $2. American natural gas prices have plunged in the last decade as shale production has taken off. Britain and Europe could be on the brink of a similar energy revolution—or at least an end to chronic undersupply—if its governments don't stand in the way.
On that point, the U.K. isn't the only good-news story. Poland, which is keen to throw off the yoke of dependence on Russian fuel, continues to press forward with shale-gas exploration. Efforts from Greens in the European Parliament to ban or restrict fracking throughout the European Union have gone nowhere.
So far, only France (and Bulgaria) have bought into the anti-fracking hype and banned the practice. With French retail natural-gas prices at least 25% higher than in the U.K., cheaper domestic gas would be a particularly welcome reprieve for the French economy.
Read the entire article here


And the sooner David Cameron and other European leaders admit that subsidies for the primitive, technicially underdeveloped wind energy - not to speak of even more useless solar power - are a waste of taxpayers´ money, the better. 
(image by wikipedia)

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