Total’s participation would be a vote of confidence in the government of Prime Minister David Cameron, which has been trying to promote shale gas as an alternative to declining production of oil and gas in the North Sea, despite opposition from local communities and environmental groups. Total, a major offshore oil and gas producer in Britain, apparently wants to expand its role.
Surging production of oil and gas from shale rock has sharply lowered energy prices in the United States and helped make its industry more competitive, though it has also brought criticism from environmental advocates. Britain, however, is the lone country in Western Europe that has encouraged the exploration of shale gas, which is produced through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which uses a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals.
Analysts say that if shale gas production is successful in Britain, countries like France and Germany, which are thought to have considerable shale gas potential, might reassess their thinking.
So far, shale gas exploration in Britain has been led by a handful of small companies.
Other large European oil companies, including BP and Royal Dutch Shell, have taken a cautious approach to British shale gas. Shell’s chief financial officer, Simon Henry, has said that the company was wary of attracting the protests and news media attention that accompanied some onshore drilling efforts in Britain.
Total has already attracting some of that attention, even before an official announcement.
Hang about people. Total's 'investment' of £30 mil is absolute chicken-feed. What's significant is that it can be considered a token gesture. A bit like someone calling in an opening hand of poker, not raising nor anything like that. A signal of interest, in other words, and wanting to remain in the hand. Just testing the waters, so to speak. But also possibly a precursor to making some far bigger move into the play later on.
Total will on Monday announce a deal to commit 30 million pounds ($50 million) to drilling for shale gas in Lincolnshire in central England, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, confirming details published in the Telegraph newspaper.
The French giant, worth about 103 billion euros ($141 billion), will partner with smaller explorers Dart Energy , Egdon Resources, IGas and eCORP, on two exploration licences.
Click on Igas share news icon above to read full article.
Total will on Monday announce a deal to commit 30 million pounds to drilling for shale gas in Lincolnshire in central England, confirming details published in the Telegraph newspaper. The French giant, worth about 103 billion euros ($141 billion), will partner with smaller explorers Dart Energy , Egdon Resources, IGas and eCORP, on two exploration licences.
Looking Very Good here. The share price should rise on Monday.
"The argument to make better use of scale and global trade – for example by taking carbon pricing seriously – is strengthened by the efficiency with which the two fossil fuels are traded across borders and even continents, something not yet possible with the wind and the sun."
The above is pretty crucial (though I'd have thought, by the way, that electricity produced from wind and sun can be traded across borders ...). US shale has displaced coal to Europe. If shale gas replaces coal that's one thing, but if it simply displaces it, that's another. Without carbon pricing (which would affect the prices of both coal and gas, and also make renewables more competitive), then you'll just get displacement which of course will not be great for climate change because of the carbon intensity of coal compared to gas.
Neither is is true to say that this argument has been ignored/is new - I've certainly seen it before.
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