Hello 'eco', Yes I'm in on QFI (anyone who isn't is plain stupid) and also other things which I'm not allowed to name. But Igas and similar? Long-term only. It won't start really paying off for five years yet. But then? Bigtime.
That was Vernony (though if shale does take off I agree with his suggestion - some for that and some for other investment a la Norway and a sovereign wealth fund). Not sure who made the substrata point. But I take your point regarding embedded carbon in some of the 'alternatives' - would be good to see more life cycle analysis on this but my hope is that someone has looked at this and reckoned that the increase in short term emissions from manufacture is outweighed by mid-long term emissions reductions.
Anyway, good to see some knowledgeable people on here who are open to debate. I'm not invested here but I am in QFI (as I think is adoubleuk). Mind you, not a happy experience on there today (mention of delay always frightens the horses!). Trouble is I've been in from quite early days and a 10% move is now quite painful.
'Eco' You make sense, as well, but only to a certain point. You say "the sale of shale gas should immediately go into carbon free energy alternatives. wind, wave, tide etc. " There is no such thing. Figure out how much energy and emissions result from the manufacture of just one windmill or sheet of solar-power stuff, and you'd be amazed. Electric cars with lithium batteries (just like you've got in your mobile phone)... even worse. I recently made a very nice profit out of some lithium-mining shares I held. And that thing was being dug up with big Caterpillar earthmovers and dumpers, running on diesel, not solar power. But what gets to me is the statement "especially as they cannot always know the precise substrata." Oh yeah? You think we people in the oilpatch are a bunch of yo-yo's who don't know what they're doing? It literally is the equivalent of rocket science, and I'm not talking about the Nov 5th versions. Let us get on with it (with proper regulation by qualified people, to be sure), otherwise the people in their camper-vans will no longer have any butane in the bottle to keep themselves warm.
You make a lot of sense, undoubtedly there will be a few mistakes, especially as they cannot always know the precise substrata. But, these will be few and far between, and you can bet your life the authorities will come down hard on any polluters. There is no progress, in any direction, without some risk. The question is acceptable risk. At the moment the country is in such dire straights, then fracking is an acceptable risk. Personally I don't see why more people do not run their cars on gas, I pay 72 pence per litre for my fuel. You have to take into account that LPG gives about 5% less oomph. A small price to pay i.e the difference between 105 MPH and 100 MPH. I can't say that I ever travel at 105 MPH anyway !. LPG gives off less co2 than petrol. It gives a cleaner burn, thus engine wear is reduced . Thats a spin off which means the spare parts manufacturing industry do not have to burn energy to produce as many spare parts. On top of that LPG is often flared off and burnt at the well head, because the oil companies do not have a large enough market for it. UK could be self sufficient in LPG, given government will. Meantime until shale gas comes on tap the UK will continue to import it from Qatar. The tankers bringing it burn up to 100 tons of heavy oil per day, thus more co2 pollution, because we do not have our own gas.
However, one must admit that when the UK discovered Nsea oil, they squandered it and made no plans for the day when it ran out. This is where the Green movement and Environmental pressure groups could be most effective. They should insist that a certain amount of the sale of shale gas should immediately go into carbon free energy alternatives. wind, wave, tide etc. Like that the UK would, after a while, be gradually reducing its fossil fuel requirement, as new carbon free alternatives came on stream, The change then from shale gas to carbon free would be seamless and even speeded up. I would support the Greens on that, its sensible, creative, and could result in all energy becoming carbon free . That is a mission, confrontation is pointless and a waste of time
'ecovest' Reluctantly I have to accept some of your points as true, despite a personal aversion to any word starting with 'eco', and that includes economics! But the stuff about methane and 'retro-testing' water wells is suspect. Ever heard of Will o' the Wisp? Ever tried chucking a lit match on a Hebridean peat-bog? (Or some parts of Dartmoor, come to that.) The whole thing is about containment. Methane burns clean. Letting methane out into the atmosphere unburnt is potentially harmful, though, and should not be done deliberately (though try training a cow not to fart). You say "And I'm not suggesting free energy - but it's interesting that the government are keen to subsidise shale through tax breaks but have cut subsidies for onshore wind. Windmills are reversible; water pollution in groundwater usually isn't and neither is climate change." Which I find interesting. Windmills are reversible? Be interesting to see how the many composites which make up their construction could be recycled. But who cares? Let's tear the nasty things down anyway. But I quite agree with what you say regarding groundwater pollution, which is a very good reason to ensure that wells are drilled properly. And that flowback fluid after a frac is properly reprocessed and not disposed of irresponsibly. But climate change? What's that got to do with oil or gas well drilling. The climate has been in perpetual change since this planet came into creation. Pure hubris to think humans have much to do with it. Remember the story about King Canute?
Vernony - you're equating anti-fracking with some of the protestors (and for some of them what you say is no doubt true). The reality is though that, with both normal politics and protest, we live in an adversarial system and both sides tend to exaggerate their positions at times. The truth will often lie somewhere in between.
Methane is somewhere between 20-40 times more powerful a greenhouse gas then CO2. Most of it is likely to go for domestic heating (for use in boilers) or for electricity generation. Can't see gas cars taking off. Electric maybe - but without carbon capture and storage, gas fired power stations will not lead to a big enough cut in emissions to prevent significant warming.
Methane in people's wells. Well sure it's unproven, but it's equally unproven that it doesn't come from fracking (is well integrity always 100%?). That's the problem. Of course some of it could be natural contamination. But have enough studies been done to look into this? Can you point me in the direction of one? I think many will be waiting for the US government study: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/04/us-usa-fracking-idUSBRE9B216920131204 That will, hopefully, be the first definitive study (better late than never).
Adoubleuk - water contamination - spurious providing proper regulation is in place. The point is that it isn't in place - the government here is admittedly better than the US in not having given the industry exemptions from water pollution laws, but it is using existing regulations rather than bringing in a dedicated, specialist regulatory regime. The existing system is far from great. Cameron has sat on EU plans to do better.
You make a valid point that the UK may not face the same economic incentives leading to a free-for-all - the US prices became cheap and that made some outfits unprofitable (and probably led to cost and corner-cutting): in the UK, most accept that shale will not lead to significant lowering of gas prices (as Parkside13 usefully points out below).
And I'm not suggesting free energy - but it's interesting that the government are keen to subsidise shale through tax breaks but have cut subsidies for onshore wind. Windmills are reversible; water pollution in groundwater usually isn't and neither is climate change.
They are indeed, the great unsavoury . Many of them just go from demo to demo on any subject. Their modus could be likened to fascists . i.e. they cry down and otherwise attempt to obstruct people with other views and,obstruct people going about their lawful occupations, all in favour of their own opinion. They pass silly rumours around such as fracking poisons water supplies, although there is no evidence for. One stupid rumour is that fracking somehow kills cattle in fields. Yet another unproven theory that methane from fracking gets into people's wells . Report from Germany recently that a well was found to be contaminated with methane, no fracking had taken place there ! So it is quite reasonable to assume that the oft reported American well may also have become contaminated naturally !
As for you statement that methane is a gross contaminate ? I burn Butane in my car, it is far less polluting than petrol, methane is likewise. If we could get more UK residents to switch from petrol to shale gas, we would be doing an awful lot for the environment
OK. A reasonably thought-out reply from an obvious 'anti' rather than an investor in this share. Unless 'ecovest' sitting on both sides of the fence, which is a bit sly. But (1) the threat of chemicals to water supplies is completely spurious, providing that proper regulation of flow-back water is in place: something that everyone including the companies and the Government is trying to get in place, for eveyone's mutual good. (2) The 'fugitive methane gas' story is total nonsense. Try to stop a cow from farting. The 'US free-for-all' is a misnomer, though when the technologies became widespread and the resources properly accessible there were races between companies to exploit them, resulting in a drop in price which did many of them no good. Because everyone's in it to make money, not provide something 'for free'. And that's not being cynical, it's the truth. Nobody will buy shares in an outfit which provides something for free, because obviously there will be no profit, and therefore no dividend. And we're not all philanthropists, you understand. (3) Scientific evidence regarding both the points you raise is widely available. However it requires a slightly greater IQ to understand than using childrens' crayons to write a banner saying 'don't frack in my water' and more time and effort to comprehend than carrying such a banner in the streets... Exploitation of shale-gas resources is not about 'free energy', any more than putting up horrible windmills is. Do you think those think those things come for free? Do you believe in Father Christmas?
Involves no fracking. And it's oil not gas. I think it's a bit too easy to describe anti-fracking folk as the great unwashed etc. - that's to engage the person and not the argument. The main arguments against are essentially twofold: 1) fracking chemicals may threaten water supplies; 2) fugitive methane gas emissions are potent greenhouse gases (much more so than CO2) and no one seems sure of their extent. Until there's some reassuring scientific proof on both of these, many will rightly be wary. The US free-for-all doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
Yes Wytch is under two miles from Sandbanks, and Canford Cliffs, two of the most desirable residential areas in the UK with houses commanding London prices. The area seems to be completely unaffected by the tree screened site. The field produces 20000 barrels of oil a day (a lot but minute by middle-east standards) and contributes £300million yearly to the UK economy. As I understand it the site uses horizontal drilling but not fracking. The oil is contained in conventional sandstone and limestone rather than shale so doesn't require the rock to be fractured. As i understand it sandstone is a more gritty material and has more internal spaces into which the oil moves after it has been formed and can be harvested by conventional methods. It is piped to Southampton for processing. All this from BBC and BGS websites.
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