Thursday, 26 April 2012

UK foreign secretary Hague unaware of the unconventional gas and oil revolution

UK foreign secretary William Hague in Huffington Post:

We have left behind an era in which energy, food, water, and other resources have been relatively cheap and plentiful. Rising demand is carrying us into an age of higher and more volatile prices for energy, food and raw materials. Political tensions in the regions traditionally supplying the world's oil have added to the uncertainties. Climate change is amplifying these stresses, and will do so increasingly.
Clearly Hague does not know what he is talking about. Somebody should have told him about the shale gas revolution (soon also coming to the UK) and this
It's widely believed nowadays that global oil production is running up against its limits. "The days of easy oil are over", we are told and we should brace ourselves for an age of relative oil scarcity. The reality, however, is very different. As more and more people within the oil industry have come to realize in recent years, the world has plenty of oil that can be produced at competitive prices for a long, long time to come. This means the world does not face inevitable "energy poverty" and there is no reason to be afraid of unavoidable "energy wars". 
Antonio Brufau, the CEO of Spanish oil producer Repsol, told the World Petroleum Congress in Doha in December, "The speed at which technology changes and its consequences have taken us largely by surprise. The peak oil debate, for example, has lost a great deal of its relevance in the past three years".

The key issue driving Brufau's confidence was the extension of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques, the cornerstone of the US’s shale gas revolution, into 'tight' oil production. With these technologies it is possible to exploit low-permeability reservoirs which would otherwise not flow oil at commercial rates. 
Hague is also unbeliavably naive with regard to the "green economy": 
One of the biggest drivers of that export-led recovery will be the green economy. There is unprecedented global demand for green innovation, which could provide an enormous boost to UK industry in the years to come. Thankfully, actions taken across government will mean Britain is well placed in the decades to come.
So far the heavily subsidised "green economy" has brought nothing but higher energy prices and bankruptcies, and even according to the wind energy industry´s own forecast, the future does not look promising:
The outlook remains bumpy for the wind-power industry after regulatory turmoil along with flattening demand in China hampered growth in key markets last year, according to a report from the Global Wind Energy Council released Tuesday at the European Wind Energy Association’s annual event in Copenhagen.

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